On Thursday, May 16, 2013 at approximately 5:30 am, members of the WPS were dispatched to a business in the 1200 block of Notre Dame Ave regarding the report of a commercial robbery that had just occurred.
On arrival, uniform officers met with a forty-one (41) year old female clerk who reported that three (3) men had just robbed the store. Upon entering the premise, one of the men produced a firearm and held the clerk and three (3) customers at gun point while the other two (2) suspects proceeded to steal an undisclosed amount of cash from the register.
No one was physically injured during the incident.
On May 18, 2013, a sixteen (16) year old male youth was arrested in relation to this incident. A loaded firearm was recovered during his arrest.
On May 21, 2013, Police arrested Ryan Shane Jonathon Halkett (21) and a fifteen (15) year old youth regarding the ongoing investigation.
All three suspects have been charged with Robbery, Firearms and Breach of Court Order offences and were detained in custody.
In a perfect world, a twenty-one (21) year old offender doing hold ups with a firearm using young offender accomplices would literally have “the book thrown at him.” From a legal perspective, a person who takes a leadership role in a criminal act bears more responsibility than someone who was a mere party to that offence. In this case, the fact the adult offender participated in the crime with youth offenders makes his role in the crime much more egregious.
Robbery is one of the most serious offences in the Criminal Code of Canada and comes with maximum penalty of life in prison.
Robbery with a firearm also comes with a maximum term of life in prison, however, it also comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of four (4) years in prison.
Mandatory minimum sentences for Robbery with a firearm had a dramatic effect at reducing the number of firearm related robberies experienced in the City of Winnipeg. Criminals got the “tough on gun crime” message and adapted by getting involved in more lucrative and less punitive crimes such as drug trafficking or running dial-a-dealer cocaine operations.
CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA
344. (1) Every person who commits robbery is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
(a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of
(i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and
(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;
(a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.