‘The Vaulter’, Canada’s ‘most notorious bank robber’, arrested in Geneva

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GENEVA — A man police have described as Canada’s most notorious bank robber — known for his technique of jumping over bank counters during his heists — has been arrested in Geneva.

The 53-year-old suspect  — nicknamed “The Vaulter” — was intercepted by plainclothes police while he was driving a compact car on a Geneva street on Tuesday, and taken into custody without incident, Swiss police said Wednesday.

The French-American citizen, identified by Canadian police as Jeffrey James Shulman, had been sought under an international arrest warrant issued by Canada in connection with 22 bank robberies over the last five years.

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The Canadian Bankers Association had offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Geneva police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt said the man is being held pending extradition procedures.

Canadian police said the robber first struck in York Region north of Toronto in February 2010 and since then hit banks in Mississauga, Hamilton, Vaughan, Toronto and Ottawa, as well as some in Calgary.

A spokesman with York Regional Police said Shulman would only be formally charged once he was extradited to Canada. Those charges are expected to be robbery and firearms related, Const. Andy Pattenden said.

“We’ve described him as Canada’s most notorious bank robber,” said Pattenden. “It’s been an ongoing very lengthy investigation involving numerous police services.”

Pattenden said Shulman is believed to have been living in France before he was arrested in Switzerland.

Police had warned that the man was considered armed and dangerous, and described him as athletic — jumping over bank counters like a hurdler while holding a handgun.

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Police also said the man worked alone and was believed to carry a police scanner and scout locations well before striking and then leaving the area.

The Canadian Bankers Association said it was pleased with the arrest. It noted that it would issue its reward only if the man was convicted and if police determined that any informaiton they recieved was key to the arrest and conviction.

“We commend the police forces in Canada and abroad for their ongoing work to apprehend this individual,” said Malcolm Chivers, director of corporate security at the association. “This is proof once again that, if you rob a bank, you will be caught.”

— with files from the Associated Press.

The Canadian Press

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