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Convicted Iqaluit robber arrested, charged for recent armed robbery

An Iqaluit man has been charged in connection with an armed robbery at the Quickstop-KFC, police say. It's not the first time the man has been charged for robbery.

The same man was behind a string of robberies in recent years

Iqaluit RCMP say a man was charged in connection to an armed robbery at the KFC-Quickstop. (CBC)

An Iqaluit man — who was behind a string of robberies in 2014 and 2015 — has been arrested and charged in connection with an armed robbery over the weekend.

Michael Cooper-Flaherty, 23, is charged with robbery, covering his face with intent to commit a crime, and failure to attend court.

In a news release Wednesday, Iqaluit RCMP said it responded to a call just after 7 p.m. on Saturday to the Quickstop KFC.

An armed man entered the store and demanded money from the clerks. He then fled the area on foot, police say.

There were no reported injuries from the incident and police were called immediately.

Cooper-Flaherty was identified and was arrested without incident on Monday on an unrelated matter, where he's also facing more charges including assault with a weapon and uttering threats.

He appeared before a Justice of the Peace on Tuesday and was denied bail and remanded into custody.

Cooper-Flaherty is set to appear in court on March 3 at the Nunavut Court of Justice.

Not the first time

Cooper-Flaherty was dubbed the "mastermind" behind five armed robberies in 2014 and 2015, that created "anxiety and real fears" in Iqaluit. He was sentenced to five years in jail in 2017.

With the help of teenagers, he targeted convenience stores around Iqaluit, including in April 2015, the KFC-Quickstop in Iqaluit, which was robbed twice in a week, both times at gunpoint with a .22 calibre rifle. Another incident happened outside the Royal Bank when a gas station night manager was on his way to make a deposit.

The judge who sentenced him, Justice Paul Bychok, said at the time they were hopeful it is not too late for rehabilitation for a man who "has suffered enough at the hands of the correctional system."

At the time of that sentencing, Cooper-Flaherty, had already served time in custody and had just two years left.

Bychok also raised concerns of "deplorable" conditions at the facilities Cooper-Flaherty served in.

With files from Nick Murray