A Salmon Arm man allegedly responsible for setting off explosions at two Edmonton banks is scheduled to appear in court next month on unrelated weapon offences.
Justin David Byron made an appearance in Salmon Arm provincial court on Jan. 19, and is scheduled for another appearance on March 16, on charges that include careless storage of a firearm, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possessing a weapon obtained through an offence and possession of stolen property over $5,000.
The charges date back to March 5, 2019 – the day after Byron was arrested at Edmonton International Airport. The arrest followed an investigation by Edmonton Police Service into two incidents at Edmonton banks in 2018. In one incident, on Sept. 19, an explosion occurred at a bank vestibule as an armoured car guard was entering. No one was injured and no money was taken.
In the second incident, which occurred on Dec. 13 at another financial institution, two explosions occurred, and two armoured vehicle guards received non-life-threatening injuries. Police said a male suspect allegedly entered the bank vestibule, grabbed a deposit bag and ran to a pick-up truck parked nearby.
In March 2019, Salmon Arm RCMP, working with the Edmonton Police Service, investigated a rural property on Grandview Bench Road. Subsequent to local investigation, Edmonton Staff Sgt. Rob Mills stated the accused was believed to have been planning another incident, “and we’re happy that we prevented another attack.”
For the pair of bank incidents, Byron was charged with robbery with a firearm, attempted robbery, four counts of using an explosive device and two of possession of an explosive material. He was also charged with aggravated assault. Byron’s next court appearance on these charges is June 3.