robbery video toronto

GTA police chopper films unreal takedown of robbery suspects near Toronto

As if Rockstar Games needed any more reason to base its next Grand Theft Auto release in The 6ix, scenes playing out in and around Toronto are making the GTA look more and more like an actual installment of GTA every day.

The latest, and one of the most fitting examples of this comes to us by way of York Regional Police (YRP), who on Friday released aerial footage from the recent takedown of four armed robbery suspects in Durham Region.

"York Regional Police is sharing video of Hold-Up Unit investigators and Air Support officers in Air2 as they work together with ground units to arrest four male suspects in connection with a series of armed robberies in York Region, Durham Region, Peel Region and Halton Region," wrote the GTA police service when releasing the video.

Shot from a police helicopter with no audio, the 42-second-long clip isn't going to win any Oscars — but it's just as intense as any big-budget heist flick, given that it's real footage.

The first part of the video shows three people casually exiting a car in the parking lot of a Scotiabank in Whitby, Ontario. A quick cut shows what appears to be the same three people running at a clip away from the bank as various authorities chase them down and, eventually, apprehend them.

It all started around 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, according to police, when officers were called to a currency exchange store near Yonge Street and North Lake Road in Richmond Hill for reports of an armed robbery.

In that case, two armed male suspects are said to have tried to enter the store as an employee was opening it, but failed as the victim escaped.

The two men reportedly left the scene in a stolen Mazda that was quickly located on Highway 407 by sky cops (or, as they're officially known, "air support officers") in YRP's Air2 chopper.

Police watched the car from above all the while, alerting members of the Hold-Up, Canine and Emergency Response Units to its location as it travelled into Durham Region.

Perhaps unaware that they were being followed by a helicopter, the suspects arrived at the Scotiabank in Whitby and, according to police, "committed an armed robbery."

"The suspects attempted to flee the area, however they were unsuccessful and were all arrested outside of the bank.

Police arrested four people in connection with the case at the scene, linking the suspects to a two-day robbery spree that impacted a pharmacy in Peel, a jewellery store in Oakville, and an electrical supply store in Vaughan on Jan. 18 and 19.

Like many crime suspects who've made headlines around the GTA in recent months, all four suspects were dishearteningly young. They are described as a 15-year-old male from Toronto, a 16-year-old male from Brampton, a 20-year-old male from Stoney Creek and a 21-year-old male with no fixed address.

Together, the youths face a combined total of 46 criminal charges, including robbery with a firearm, robbery and disguise with intent.

While the situation is no laughing matter for the suspects or victims of this crime, the video does illustrate quite accurately that it's way harder to pull off brazen robberies in real life than it is from the comfort of one's couch using an Xbox controller.

Lead photo by

York Regional Police

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