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Suspect faces 14 charges in more than a dozen similar Lower Mainland thefts

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The thefts occurred at more than a dozen fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and banks; in each case the suspect headed straight for the cash register.

COQUITLAM, B.C.: NOV. 13, 2019 – A 32-year-old man is facing 13 charges following a series of more than a dozen robberies in various municipalities in which a suspect robbed fast-food joints, convenience stores and banks in a similar fashion. HANDOUT / COQUITLAM RCMP / PNG

A man is facing 14 charges and possibly more following an investigation into more than a dozen similar robberies in four cities.

Coquitlam RCMP said they teamed up with police in Langley, Burnaby and New Westminster after noticing similarities in robberies happening in all four cities.

Between Sept. 22 and Oct. 17, more than a dozen fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and banks reported robberies; in a number of the cases, the suspect entered the business and went straight for the cash register. In one surveillance image released by police, a suspect can be seen exiting a convenience store carrying a cash register.

“We quickly realized our files were similar to crimes happening in Langley,” said Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP.

“We pooled our resources with Langley RCMP, Burnaby RCMP and New Westminster Police and by Oct. 19 we had identified a suspect and made an arrest.”

Derek John Muirhead, 32 of no fixed address, now faces 14 charges, including five counts of robbery in Burnaby, four counts of robbery in Coquitlam, two counts of robbery in New Westminster and two in Langley, as well as one count of assault with a weapon in Langley.

McLaughlin said more charges are possible as the investigation is still underway.

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