January 14, 2013 Release  |  December 13th, 2012 Release

A U.S. citizen responsible for a series of armed robberies of businesses in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Burnaby has now received a five-year sentence in a Canadian jail.

Thomas John Schwartz, also known as Tom Stone, was charged with robbery and weapons related offences and was extradited from the United States back to Canada. Thanks to the joint efforts of investigators and Vancouver Regional Crown Counsel, a judge has now handed Schwartz a lengthy sentence for his criminal activities north of the border.

On December 13th, 2012, the Vancouver Police, along with West Vancouver Police, North Vancouver RCMP and the Burnaby RCMP issued a public appeal for information following eight robberies of neighbourhood grocery stores, believed to have been committed by the same man.

Following that appeal, investigators received many tips, which identified a Squamish resident they suspected might be the man they were looking for.

On December 15th, 2012, as he was trying to cross into the United States with police hot on his trail, American authorities arrested the 68 year-old Squamish resident on an outstanding U.S warrant from 1972 that related to allegations of desertion from the U.S Air Force.

On December 21st, 2012, robbery investigators were contacted by the American authorities. When the U.S. authorities and Canada’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) began looking into the man’s background, they determined the man in custody had been living in Canada under an assumed name, and that he was being investigated by multiple police agencies in the Lower Mainland for the armed robberies.