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Suspect in a number of Ottawa robberies, arrested

Ottawa police believe one man may be connected to seven different robberies, break-ins and thefts, which happened in different parts of the city.
2018-02-28 Ottawa police cruiser1 MV
Ottawa Police Service vehicle, February 28, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

A 34-year-old Ottawa man is facing nine charges in connection with at least four robberies and a theft over the last month.

The Ottawa Police Service said the first incident happened around 3:15 p.m. on March 10. A man walked into a drug store on Rideau Street near Colonel By Drive, approached a cashier and demanded cash. The suspect said he had a knife, but no weapon was seen. He ended up fleeing with a small amount of cash.

Police added that the suspect had been linked to a theft at the same drug store back on February 20.

Then on March 11 around 11:15 p.m., officers responded to a gas station robbery on Carling Avenue near Bayshore. In this case, the police explained that the suspect approached an employee and indicated he had a gun before demanding cash and cigarettes. No weapon was seen. The suspect got away with cigarettes and some cash.

Around 10:40 a.m. on March 19, a man claimed to be armed and demanded cash at a bank on Montreal Road, just east of the Vanier Pkwy. Again, No weapon was seen. The man left the scene with cash.

Finally, on March 20 around 5:15 p.m., according to police a man started grabbing items from the shelves of a store at the Rideau Centre and was walking out when he was stopped by an employee. The suspect then told the employee he was armed with a knife, though none was seen, and then he fled.

Officials said no one was hurt in any of these incidents.

The suspect was eventually tracked down in the Vanier area at approximately 7 p.m. Tuesday, and was arrested.

Police said the same man has also been charged in relation to two incidents under investigation by the Break and Enter Unit.  The first of those happened back on February 26, when a man forced his way into a series of mail boxes within an apartment building along on Doane Street. On March 9, the suspect returned and forcibly entered the same building by breaking a window. Police said he then entered a vacant unit where he was later found by building personnel. 

Yassin Farah, 34, of Ottawa, is charged with the following offences:

*       Four counts of robbery
*       One count of theft
*       One count of theft from mail
*       Two counts of mischief under $5000
*       One count of break and enter with intent

He will appear in court on March 21.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies, or any other robbery, is asked to call the Ottawa Police's Robbery Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5116. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.

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