Shuswap man arrested for Edmonton bank explosion robbery facing more charges | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Shuswap man arrested for Edmonton bank explosion robbery facing more charges

January 21, 2021 - 7:00 AM

A Shuswap man who allegedly detonated a bomb in the entrance of an Edmonton bank while committing a robbery appeared in court Jan. 19, facing separate charges in Salmon Arm.

Justin David Byron, born 1980, had his first court appearance on four weapons-related offences. He was charged with careless use or storage of a firearm, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possessing a weapon obtained through an offence, and possession of stolen goods worth more than $5,000.

According to court documents, the charges date back to March 2019, the same time Byron was arrested at Edmonton International Airport following months of police investigation.

According to a March 2019 Edmonton Police Service media release, Byron was arrested in connection to a pair of armoured guard robberies and bank explosions that occurred in Edmonton in September and December of 2018.

In the first incident Sept. 19, 2018, an armoured truck guard doing morning deliveries entered a bank vestibule at around 2:30 a.m. and an explosion went off. Both guards were disoriented, drew their firearms, but neither was injured and no money was stolen.

Two months later on Dec. 13, 2018, a similar incident took place. Two armoured guards walked into the vestibule of an Edmonton bank and an explosion went off knocking one of the guards to the ground. A second explosion followed while the other guard ran for cover.

During the commotion, Byron is alleged to have entered the bank lobby, grabbed the deposit bag, and then fled in a pick-up truck.

The two guards were treated for non-life-threatening injuries in hospital.

Edmonton police say they believe Byron was planning another robbery when he was arrested at the airport.

Following the arrest, Byron was charged with robbery with a firearm and attempted robbery as well as four counts of using an explosive device and two counts of possessing explosive material. He also faces charges of aggravated assault.

In March 2019 Salmon Arm RCMP said they searched an address at Grandview Bench Road in relation to the Edmonton investigation.

Bryon is due to appear in court in Edmonton in June to stand trial on the bank robbery charges. His next appearance in court in Salmon Arm is scheduled for Mar. 21.

It appears Byron has no criminal convictions in B.C.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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