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RCMP Hunting for Bank Robber

February 13th, 2013 | by admin admin | in News |    41   comments

PATON_1.jpgHave you seen this man? Surrey RCMP want your help in locating Robert John Paton, suspected of robbing several financial institutions in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley and Burnaby.

Police are concerned about Paton’s level of desperation. He disguises his appearance with props, such as wigs and glasses, and has threatened employees with violence. Police believe Paton resides in the City Centre area of Surrey.

More details

Meanwhile, Vancouver Police have laid robbery and weapons-related charges against Squamish resident Thomas John Schwartz. Suspected of a string of armed robberies in Vancouver, Burnaby and the North Shore, Schwartz was arrested by U.S. border officials in December on unrelated charges. He is being held in the U.S., pending extradition.

While banks and grocery stores are obvious targets, every business faces the threat of a robbery. As a business owner or employee, are you prepared? Is your business secure?

The Surrey RCMP has compiled a list of robbery prevention tips:


  • Provide employees with training on what to do in the event of a robbery.
  • Avoid having staff working alone, particularly at night. Become familiar with WorkSafe BC regulations regarding working alone and implement safe work practices.
  • Maintain sight lines - keep windows free from obstructions, advertising, etc.
  • Provide proper lighting both inside and outside your business.
  • Greet customers as they enter and make eye contact.
  • Limit cash on hand. Avoid keeping large amounts of cash on the premises.
  • Make frequent deposits, preferably in pairs/teams, but stagger deposit times.
  • Place height markers (i.e., height strips) at entrances and exits.
  • Put together a robbery box containing suspect ID sheets, extra door keys, first aid kit, pens and other useful items. Keep it where it is easily accessible.


  • Try to remain calm.
  • Don’t make sudden moves.
  • Never argue--co-operate and comply with the robber’s demands.
  • Never assume a robber isn’t armed.
  • Try to pay close attention to what the robber looks like. Don’t stare, just observe.
  • Only activate a panic alarm if it is safe to do so.
  • Don’t be a hero!


  • Lock the door as quickly as possible after the suspect departs.
  • Try to observe the direction of travel of the suspect.
  • Dial 9-1-1.
  • Place a sign on the door indicating Temporarily Closed.
  • Try to preserve any evidence.
  • Identify any witnesses.
  • Do not discuss the incident with other witnesses.
  • Being the victim of a robbery can be traumatic; seek counselling if required.

Full article, including a useful incident checklist to help you record useful evidence.


Photo courtesy of Surrey RCMP

Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.


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