Arbitration lawsuit reveals details of Langley bank robbery
Thieves got their hands on $463 220 by robbing 7 Langley ATMs. (Archives)
A recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling related to an arbitration between cash-carrying company Brinks and the union representing its agents lifts the lid on a bank robbery no one had ever heard of.
On December 25, 2016, 4 people wearing face masks and winter clothes decided to give themselves a Christmas gift worth over $450,000 by emptying 5 Langley ATMs, in British Columbia.
No criminal charges have yet been filed in this case. An internal investigation, however, led Brinks to identify one of its employees as the main suspect. He was fired by the valuables transport company on November 16, 2018.
This dismissal was followed by the filing of two grievances. One was filed by the union on behalf of the dismissed member challenging his dismissal. The other was filed by Brinks to recover the $463,220 paid by the employer to the bank.
Brinks and Unifor Local 114, which represents the employee, then agreed to have both grievances settled in arbitration, but the union also filed a motion in court challenging the arbitrator's authority to hear the employer's grievance.
According to the union, Brinks is trying to use the collective agreement as a way to get its money back, rather than going to civil court.
The decision rendered by Judge Christopher Giaschi on November 28, however, recognizes the authority of the arbitrator to rule on the grievance in question.
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According to the employer, the modus operandi used to rob the seven ATMs requires in-depth knowledge of the operation of the company.
To access the ATMs served by Brinks, its agents have specialized electronic keys and specific personal identification numbers that employees must obtain from a call center. Keys have an electronic signature and a timestamping process logs their use.
According to documents obtained by CBC, Brinks alleges the suspect copied a co-worker's electronic key and applied for personal identification numbers for the seven ATMs robbed the day before the robbery while posing as a co-worker.
The colleague in question was cleared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after several interrogations and two polygraph tests, says Brinks.
According to the syndicate, videos of the thefts show two burglars unlocking the doors of each branch of the bank, then heading for the ATM room.
Once inside , they obstruct the field of vision of the surveillance cameras using an umbrella before obtaining access to the counters themselves using the electronic key and a personal identification number.< /p>
The cash is then removed from the counter and placed in a bag, after which the thieves leave the branch with a bag containing their prize pool of $20 and $50 bills.
The Brinks specifies, in the documents provided to the court, that the thieves left just enough money in the counters so that they continued to operate without triggering a lack of money alert.
The branches' alarm systems were then rearmed in order to avoid alerting the security services. Ticket offices eventually ran out of tickets in the following days.
According to court documents, the fired employee was arrested by Vancouver police in connection with the matter following a tip on the Crime Stoppers Line, but no charges have been laid.
The decision rendered by the province's Supreme Court at the end of November means that the arbitrator will have the final say on the employee's dismissal and his obligation to reimburse Brinks.
According to Judge Christopher Giaschi, the behavior in question is expressly covered by the collective agreement, which states that employees must look out for the interests of the cash transport industry and the employer at all times.
According to him, the very nature of the situation that led to the imposition of disciplinary measures, namely stealing a client from his employer, violates the obligation made by the collective agreement to look after the interests of the employer.
With information from Jason Proctor