Swift kick helps police nab bank robber

An alert man’s swift kick slowed down a bank robber’s getaway, sending money flying and making it easier for police to apprehend the suspect.

Langley RCMP are crediting the passerby for helping them not only stop the robber’s escape, but recover “wads of cash” and an imitation gun.

The foot chase ended a few minutes of drama at the CIBC bank at 201 Street and 64 Avenue at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The alert man was standing near the liquor store when the suspect ran towards him, chased by police.

He kicked the robber and, according to reports, when the suspect went flying, so did the money. Police believe just over $9,000 was stolen, and all has been recovered.

Dean Zastowny, 40, of New Westminster. has been charged with one count of robbery and one count of using an imitation firearm.

Witnesses told police that the suspect had produced what was believed to be a gun and demanded money from the bank tellers. A description of the suspect was broadcast to all patrol vehicles.

Observant customers and bystanders who realized what was happening followed the suspect past the liquor store and into the Home Depot parking lot, where they saw him get into the passenger seat of a black vehicle.

The vehicle was temporarily stopped by a marked police car and the suspect jumped out and started running. As an officer gave chase, he saw money falling to the ground from the suspect’s front pockets.

As the suspect was escorted to the Langley detachment, a description of the black vehicle was broadcast to all police in the area. The vehicle was registered to a Maple Ridge resident.

Air One was in the area and helped to locate the vehicle. Members of the Uniformed Gang Task Force noted the vehicle with one male occupant entering Maple Ridge via the Golden Ears Bridge. The vehicle was stopped and the driver arrested without incident.

The investigation involved several police agencies and units.

“Several members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way to assist came together, culminating in a safe and successful conclusion to this matter,” said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks, including Langley Serious Crime unit, general duty and traffic officers, Street Enforcement Unit, Core Enforcement Team, Victim Services, Air One and the Uniform Gang Task Force.

Zastowny was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for violating his parole. He appeared in Surrey Provincial Court on Thursday.