A man who was convicted of six robberies but was sentenced to time served and released on probation in January is back in police custody after an incident Thursday morning (Feb. 24) in Abbotsford.
Const. Paul Walker, media officer with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), said police were called to a facility in the 33000 block of Bevan Avenue at 2:43 a.m. after a man allegedly broke in while armed with a knife.
Walker said no one was harmed and staff did “an exceptional job” of ensuring everyone was safe.
He said the suspect fled before police arrived, but the area was contained. A police service dog tracked down the man at a nearby residence known to the suspect, Walker said.
He said the man surrendered to police without incident.
Justin Randy Walsh, 24, has now been charged with break-and-enter and assault with a weapon.
According to the provincial court database, Walsh was sentenced Jan. 27 in Surrey provincial court after pleading guilty to six robberies in the Lower Mainland. He had been in prison for almost two years, and was sentenced to time served and three years’ probation.
Walsh was one of two men who faced a total of 35 charges for a series of armed robberies that occurred in December 2019 and January 2020 in Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge and Surrey.
The pair were arrested on Jan. 11, 2020 after the robbery of a Subway restaurant on McCallum Road in Abbotsford. Police had the two under surveillance at the time, and they were arrested as they left the store.
At the time of their arrest, police said the two men were believed to be linked to another 16 armed robberies at liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores and banks.
The remaining charges were laid in August 2020. In addition to the six robbery charges (the others were stayed), Walsh also pleaded guilty to using an imitation firearm.
The charges for his co-accused, Clint Aaron Jeremy Billy, 34, are still making their way through the courts.
Walker said the APD is grateful that no one was injured in the latest incident.
“We continue to see prolific offenders being released back into the community time and time again. Many people’s lives are forever impacted by the actions of these criminals operating within our city,” he said.