Violent, relentless bank robber may be on the loose

Michiel Hollinger (aka Mitchell McArthur)A notorious bank robber with a 30-year record of nearly 200 violent crimes that led to the rare imposition of a life sentence may have escaped from a federal prison in British Columbia. West Shore RCMP have issued a release indicating that they’re at William Head Institution, a minimum-security facility on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The Mounties say that Michiel Gordon Hollinger, 61, is unaccounted for. “Police are currently assisting the institution in locating an inmate inside their facility,” the RCMP says, in a release. “It is unknown at this time whether this inmate has left the grounds of the facility.” Hollinger may be relatively unknown in B.C., but he’s notorious in Ontario, where he committed many of his violent robberies. He wrote a book about his exploits, boasting that he’d rather be “wanted than had.” Back then, he was known as Mitchell McArthur, before he changed his name.

(UPDATE: At 12:50 PDT, RCMP issued an update, revealing that Hollinger was found on the grounds of the institution by an RCMP dog unit)
(SECOND UPDATE): On October 8 the RCMP charged McArthur (Hollinger) with escaping lawful custody.
(THIRD UPDATE): In January, 2014, prosecutors dropped the escape charge, believing there was little chance of conviction.

[Read more…]

Share

Cops across country join forces to catch “Vaulter” bank bandit

The vaulter bank robberMany surveillance images are fuzzy, dark or lacking detail, but not these. Police have a trove of high-quality video and still images of a bandit who has been terrorizing banks across Canada. The images, including video of some of the holdups, have been compiled (see it after the jump) and released by police. The robber has been dubbed the “Vaulter” (inset) because he leaps over bank counters during the robberies (like infamous bandit Edwin Alonzo Boyd). A Canada-wide warrant has been issued and a reward of $20,000 offered for information leading to his arrest. It’s hard to imagine that another low-life won’t soon turn him in, in order to get that cash.

[Read more…]

Share

Dirty Tricks bank robbing gang leader gets full parole

This post features video(One of several interviews I conducted with paroled bank robber Richard Atkinson for the following story was done by Skype and recorded – watch the interview after the jump. Atkinson talks about the exploits he is documenting in an autobiography he is completing.)

Five-year-old Ricky Atkinson was excited when he found the shiny .38-calibre revolver hidden in his father’s bedroom. Sonny Atkinson managed a bar in a rough-and-tumble downtown Toronto neighbourhood and he often brought the nightly earnings home. The boy took the loaded gun and his four-year-old brother out into the back yard. “I got my younger brother Dwane to stand against the wall with an apple on his head,” recalls Atkinson, now 56. “The whole William Tell thing and I attempted to shoot the apple.”

[Read more…]

Share

Top court gives violent bank robber chance at another payday

An imprisoned career bandit who has amassed nearly 200 criminal convictions, and who shot three policemen in a bloody bank heist in Ontario in 1994 has won a chance at another payday, courtesy of Canada’s top court. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Mitchell (Micky) McArthur (inset), who is serving a life sentence, is entitled to take his argument that he’s been treated cruelly and inhumanely to Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice. McArthur could be in line for a damage award if he can prove that being tossed into solitary confinement for roughly four and a half years was deliberate and malicious or was done negligently. While McArthur has had success in court, he’s not having any luck with the parole board. It turned him down in 2005,  (read his parole records after the jump) the last time he asked to get out of prison.

[Read more…]

Share

Scuba-diving ball burglars busted

See all posts about dumb crooks and kooky crimesWhen darkness fell on the lush fairways and greens of Camden Braes golf course, near Kingston, Ontario, a pirate duo descended beneath the surface, in pursuit of sunken treasure. That’s when the cops arrived. Police officers caught two men, in scuba gear, plundering the water hazards of the course. They were snatching lost golf balls, reportedly a multimillion dollar a year business (an estimated 200 million lost balls in the U.S. each year). Read the full police news release, after the jump, detailing the early-morning probe that ended with two Quebec men facing theft charges for pilfering dimpled projectiles without permission of golf course owners (that’s the 6th hole at Camden Braes in the pic above).

[Read more…]

Share

Con man Rupert spotted in Ottawa?

Colleague Don Peat at the Toronto Sun has this update today, April 14, on con man Richard Rupert:

The hunt for an alleged senior-defrauding scumbag wanted by Toronto Police may end in Ottawa.
Detectives on the trail of Richard Earl Rupert told the Sun they are eager to cast a dragnet on the Ottawa area if they can confirm a sighting of him there — a tip that Crime Stoppers originally hung up on.
Ottawa resident Marie White claims she spotted Rupert at a bar Saturday night — only to have Crime Stoppers hang up on her when she tried to report the sighting.
Det. Darlene Ross of Toronto Crime Stoppers said Tuesday she was meeting with Alternative Answers, the call centre that takes Crime Stoppers calls, to find out exactly what happened.
Rupert, 54, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for eight counts of fraud under $5,000, six counts of theft under $5,000, three counts of attempted fraud, robbery and breaking and entering.
The alleged fraudster first caught Toronto cops’ attention after an 81-year-old woman was mugged in November.
In January, cops tied Rupert to several alleged frauds across Canada.
Det. John Dunlop of 32 Division said Tuesday police are still trying to confirm the weekend sighting.
“I’m hoping that is confirmed and we’ll be able to intensify our search,” he said.
Dunlop said anyone else who spots Rupert should call police, either 911 or Crime Stoppers.
“The information did get forwarded and we are following up,” he said.

Share

Predator Richard Rupert a four-decade con man

Richard Earl Rupert (above) is a remorseless, ruthless predator with no regard for the senior citizens he tricks and swindles. Unbelievably, Rupert has been doing it for nearly four decades, archived parole records reveal. Cancrime recently obtained six years worth of records (available after the jump) for the con man that police across Canada are still hunting. The records disclose his abysmal record of failures on early release from prison after five federal penitentiary terms and they show that he has duped prison and parole authorities in the past into believing that he has remorse for his victims and that he wants to go straight.

[Read more…]

Share

'Not very skilful' ex-con is foot shooter

Police were pretty helpful yesterday when it came to details of a home invasion robbery in Napanee, a small town just west of Kingston, Ontario. After putting out the news release that I highlighted in this previous post, they soon put out another release that included the names of the three accused robbers. That gave me enough to put together this story (after jump) that appears in today’s Kingston Whig-Standard.

[Read more…]

Share

Home invasion bandit shoots himself in foot – literally

Sometimes the cops don’t have to shoot the bad guys. They shoot themselves. Check out this news release today from provincial police in eastern Ontario, written with understatement, but enough detail to make clear that good guys got a good laugh at the expense of the crooks.

Napanee OPP Arrest Three In Home Invasion Robbery

(Napanee, ON.) Officers with the Napanee Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police have arrested three males in connection with a home invasion in the Napanee area.

At approximately 8:45 pm on March 16, 2010 the OPP responded to a report of a home invasion robbery at a home on Golf Course Lane in Napanee. Three suspects were arrested without incident near the scene.

One of the male suspects was given immediate medical attention for an apparent self-inflicted, accidental gun shot injury to his foot. The injury is not considered life-threatening and had occurred before police arrived in the area. The residents of the home were not injured.

The investigation has found the suspects were known to the residents of the home.

The Eastern Region and Napanee OPP Crime Units and officers of the Napanee Detachment continue to investigate the incident.

– 30 –

Contact: Provincial Constable Rob Prophet

Community Service Officer

Grenville County

Prescott Detachment

Note that the sly coppers wanted to make clear they didn’t shoot the bad guy in the foot, emphasizing in the release that the freakish foot wound happened before they arrived.

Share

A bank robbing candidate for geographic profiling


View Halfway house holdups in a larger map

James Freeman is a serial screwup. He’s also a drug-addicted bank robber. And he appears territorial, perhaps to the point that geographic profiling could be used in future to catch him. The map above shows that Freeman may not have strayed far when he escaped from a federal halfway house in Kingston, Ontario Oct. 1 and allegedly began robbing banks.

[Read more…]

Share