Off-Duty Constable Stops Robbery

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:32 p.m. January 6, 2017

Constable Matt McDonald got caught in the middle of an attempted bank robbery just two days before the Christmas holidays.

Two men on security footage
Two men wanted in connection with an Oakville robbery

The 13 Division Major Crime Unit officer was a customer in an Oakville bank when two masked suspects barged into the Royal Bank branch (2501 Third Line) in Oakville before 11 a.m. on Dec. 23.

“As the teller was preparing to give me my money, I heard some loud yelling coming from the entrance of the building,” he recalled. “When I looked around, I saw two masked men, with weapons, yelling at everyone to get on the ground.”

Taking a quick glance at the weapons, McDonald – who joined the Service in 2001 – concluded they were fake.

“They had no barrels and they were modified,” he said. “So I identified myself as a Toronto Police officer and told the suspects they were under arrest. I was 99 per cent sure the guns were not real. As I got closer to the guys, it crossed my mind that I may have been wrong, but I had already crossed that line in the sand and there was no turning back.”

One of them fled the bank while McDonald tried to subdue the other. In the ensuing scuffle, the officer broke a bone in his right hand.

“I did it when I hit him… once the hand started to swell, I was unable to grip him properly,” he said.

McDonald managed to pull the mask off the suspect before the man escaped without a shoe.

No money was taken from the bank.

The suspects are described as:

Male, black, 5'10"– 6', 25 – 30 years old, approximately 200 pounds, wearing a black knee-length jacket, black balaclava, black gloves, beige pants and brandishing a black handgun.

Male, black, 6', 25 – 30 years old, slim build, approximately 160 pounds, clean shaven, wearing a grey hoodie, black balaclava, black gloves, black running shoes and carrying a black duffle bag.

Anyone with information should contact Halton Regional Police Service Detective Constable Peter Galopoulos at 905-825-4747, ext 2274 or Halton Crime Stoppers at Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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