A surveillance photo shows a man running out of a convenience store with a cash till. Police believe more than a dozen robberies were committed by the same man. (Coquitlam RCMP)

Thief boosted cash registers in Lower Mainland crime spree

Langley, Coquitlam, Burnaby, and New West were all hit, police say

A 32-year-old man is facing charges of robbery and assault in Langley, as well as a host of other charges in three other towns after a string of robberies in September and October.

Derek John Muirhead, 32, is in custody and facing a total of 14 criminal charges, Coquitlam RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said Wednesday.

He faces five counts of robbery in Burnaby, four in Coquitlam, two each in New Westminster and Langley, and one count of assault with a weapon in Langley.

The charges relate to a string of very similar robberies that ran from Sept. 22 to Oct. 17.

“In Coquitlam, we had four files in rapid succession where the suspect went straight for the cash registers,” said McLaughlin. “We quickly realized our files were similar to crimes happening in Langley.”

The two detachments pooled their resources, and eventually with the Burnaby RCMP and the New Westminster Police, and by Oct. 19 they had identified and arrested a suspect.

More charges are possible as the investigation continues, said McLaughlin.

Muirhead is next expected in court in Surrey on Nov. 15.

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