Surrey man facing charges in Newton bank standoff

Manpreet Singh, 32, has been charged with four offences relating to a Feb. 16 robbery at TD Canada Trust.

Manpreet Singh

Manpreet Singh

Charges have been laid against a Surrey man in relation to a six-hour standoff at a Newton bank last Tuesday.

Manpreet Singh, 32, has been charged with two counts of robbery, mischief and possession of a weapon.

It all began about 8:30 a.m. Feb. 16, when a man walked into the TD Canada Trust at 72 Avenue and 137 Street in Newton.

He allegedly demanded cash from two of the tellers, then wandered into a staff area of the building.

Seeing an opportunity, customers and staff left the building.

Police arrived before the suspect could get out.

At the peak of activity, nearby roads were blocked off and about 30 police cars surrounded the TD branch.

Numerous police resources, including the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team, Police Dog Services and a police negotiator, were actively involved.

At one point, RCMP sent in a robot in advance of entering the building themselves. The robot, from E-Division’s bomb disposal unit, was able to capture video images and communicate with anyone in the bank. However, it was not able to locate anyone inside.

That’s when the emergency response teams went in to find anyone who might be hiding out of sight.

At about 2:20 p.m., police found the suspect in the bank, armed with a sword. No one else was in the building.

Singh is expected to appear in court today (Tuesday).

He is not known to police.

Surrey RCMP describe the incident as extremely rare, as the suspect remained at the scene for so long.

It’s being chalked up as a victory for all parties involved, as the volatile situation concluded with no injuries.

“The public can certainly count it as a win, because nobody was hurt,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann. “Similarly, a win from the police perspective, because nobody was injured, and they were able to resolve the situation peacefully.”

Singh is currently being held in custody.

 

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