Holding up the same bank three times reaped a six-year prison term for a smart crook with a morphine problem.
Kevin Donald Power pleaded guilty to repeatedly robbing the Scotiabank on Dilworth Drive and carrying out a fourth heist at the Scotiabank on Lakeshore Road. The trauma he inflicted on tellers at the first branch required a heavy sentence, said Judge Robin Smith.
"One can only imagine by the time it's happened a third time the insecurity they'd feel regarding their own protection," he said. "He threatened to use a gun."
A 73-year-old customer tried to stop Power during his most recent robbery in December 2012. Mr. Waddell tackled him as he left the Dilworth branch, prompting Power to say "leave me alone" and "I've got a gun," court heard.
Waddell chased him as he ducked behind the building. Power turned, warned Waddell he was armed and said "I'm not afraid to use it" with his hand in his pocket, said prosecutor Murray Kaay.
As he got onto a bicycle to pedal away, Waddell pulled him off. Power took a swing at him, the two struggled, and his tuque and sunglasses fell off. A Mountie pulled up in his cruiser and drew his pistol as Power ran back toward the bank.
Power, now 49, got down on the ground. He gave up his black bag containing the $6,615 in cash he'd stolen, but carried no weapon. He
later confessed to the earlier holdups.
Power started his most recent spree at the Lakeshore branch in December 2011. When he demanded $10,000, the teller told him she
didn't have that much in her drawer. She handed him bait money with a dye pack, which he gave back to her. He got away with $3,000.
Two months later, he walked into the Dilworth branch with his face partially covered and told a teller "just give me the money and nobody gets hurt." He left with $2,112.
Five weeks later, he sauntered into the same branch and demanded cash without dye packs, designed to explode and stain a criminal after he takes the money. Bank manager Andrew McGillivray saw Power wearing a bandana and said "What, again?"
Power, a heavy man with shoulder-length hair, answered "Ya." He ordered several tellers to open their drawers and fled with $5,060. He stole $16,787 in all.
Staff were terrified by the spree and held several meetings to deal with their anxiety, said Kaay. Employees would tense up when someone came in wearing sunglasses and a hat.
Power is addicted to morphine and needed money to pay debts and buy drugs, said his lawyer, Andrew Vandersluys. He hand-wrote an eloquent 36-page apology and told the judge he's ashamed of his "despicable, irresponsible, reckless" acts.
He got a two-year sentence in 2007 for a pair of robberies in Vernon. Among his 13 convictions were assault causing bodily harm and attempted robbery in Ontario. A psychologist concluded he's a chronic risk to re-offend.
Smith gave him credit for his pre-trial custody and sentenced him to five years of new time. He banned him from weapons for life.
"Mr. Power you are a smart man," Smith said. "I kind of like you . . . I hope when you get out you can do better."