Robbery suspect linked to nine hold-ups in Richmond, Burnaby
The Burnaby man charged last week with an early January robbery of a Richmond currency exchange is believed behind a total of nine similar crimes.
And RCMP investigators are crediting joined resources and shared information with helping them link the suspect to these cases.
Kevin Xiao Dong Luo, 36, faces a total of 27 charges, including that he allegedy was behind the Jan. 5 robbery of the Su-Hui-Da Currency Exchange, at 5461 No. 3 Rd.
The Mounties announced Wednesday that a total of nine similar robberies of currency exchanges or financial institutions—five in Richmond, four in Burnaby—occurred between Dec. 30, 2011 and Jan. 20, 2012.
Although the suspect made efforts to disguise his features, the suspect descriptions and the manner in which the crimes were committed remained similar, enabling investigators to quickly realize they could be looking for the same individual.
Chief Supt. Janice Armstrong, head of operations for the Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service, said police are working together more quickly and efficiently thanks to technological advancements, better oversight of investigations and improved procedures and crime analysis.
It's now commonplace for RCMP detachments and other police agencies to share notes and collaborate on investigations, she said.
"We have to continue to get better. Criminals are working hard, and we have to work hard to stay a step ahead," she said.
As was the case with the currency exchange robberies, investigators needed to work quickly to locate a suspect and put the robberies to a stop, she said.
Luo is charged with 11 counts of robbery, nine counts of wearing a disguise during the commission of an indictable offence, and seven counts of using an imitation firearm.
He's alleged to have used a knife or replica handgun during the offences.
Luo, who was not known to police prior to these incidents, has been remanded in custody.