Langley RCMP have stopped a Surrey man they believe is responsible for a six-day crime spree, robbing Subways and other food outlets throughout Langley.
From Feb. 2 through 8, nine robberies took place at Edible Arrangements, various Subways and pizza establishments, with three being committed in a single day.
The suspect wore a bandana, a baseball cap and a hoody and used bear spray as his weapon in many robberies, said Langley RCMP Insp. Amrik Virk, who announced the arrest at a press conference at the Langley detachment on Wednesday.
In one of the robberies only $15 was taken.
However, the suspect made off with as much as $400 in one instance.
On four occasions, the suspect used pepper spray as he exited.
Langley’s Street Enforcement Unit developed a strategy to stop these robberies, using covert surveillance and intelligence collected from the detachment’s crime analyst.
In anticipation of another offence on Feb. 8, a number of surveillance units were deployed in Langley.
At approximately 8 p.m., a robbery was reported at Fresh Slice Pizza in North Langley and police were given a description of the suspect vehicle.
The vehicle was located and followed to the Esso gas station at 72 Avenue and 200 Street, where it stopped.
Police approached the vehicle and arrested a man and woman without incident.
The vehicle was searched and several items were recovered linking these two to the Langley robberies, said Virk.
“Over the week, police employed a variety of resources to bring an end to this robbery spree,” said Virk.
The Forensic Identification Service went to every robbery to collect finger prints, police dog services were dispatched to assist with tracking as well as the Air One helicopter.
Edward Joseph Biwer, 22, from Surrey, has been charged with nine counts each of robbery, assault with a weapon and disguise with intent.
He has been remanded in custody and will appear in court again on Feb. 22.
The woman, aged 31, and also from Surrey, has been released from custody to appear in court on Feb. 26. She is suspected of being the driver in all nine robberies.
Police have recommended nine counts of robbery to Crown Counsel.
Biwer, who is on the Langley RCMP’s list of prolific offenders, was convicted for armed robbery in August 2012, stemming from a theft with a weapon in Langley in April.
He has several other convictions.
Similar robberies were taking place in Surrey around the same time as the Langley crimes.
Five happened at Subways. But those robberies were committed by a different individual, said Virk.