A Coquitlam link to Alberta crime spree?
Two men who went missing from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm in Coquitlam early this month are now linked to a string of robberies in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Martin George Chambers and Clayton Duquette were last seen at Colony Farm on New Year’s Day.
Now, Duquette is behind bars in Grande Prairie and is facing 17 criminal charges, including five counts of break and enter (business and residential), two counts of robbery, six counts of weapons-related offences and four counts of property obtained by crime — three of which were vehicles.
Chambers is considered a person of interest in “a number of robberies that occurred here in Grande Prairie,” said Grande Prairie RCMP Cpl. Carol McKinley.
“At this point, we’re not disclosing what, if any, role he had in these robberies. That remains under investigation,” McKinley said, adding she was unable to confirm whether Chambers was in Grande Prairie in the past two weeks.
Chambers returned to Colony Farm late Friday night (Jan. 13). According to the Provincial Health Services Authority, Chambers was remanded to the forensic institute in 1985 after being found not criminally responsible due to mental illness in connection with a second-degree murder charge.
Grande Prairie RCMP reported that at 9 p.m. on Jan. 3, a man entered a local Shoppers Drug Mart, where he approached an employee, demanded drugs and brandished a weapon. He then left in what is believed to be a dark green late 1990s Chevy Blazer.
On Jan. 9 at 3:20 p.m., a man brandished a gun at an employee of a Jackpot Grill restaurant, walked behind the counter and took money out of the till. The suspect, who matched the description of the pharmacy robbery, left in an older-model brown Jeep Cherokee.
Duquette was arrested the evening of Jan. 9 without incident. He appeared in provincial court in Grande Prairie on Jan. 11 and remains in custody; his next appearance is scheduled for Feb. 1.
McKinley said investigators are still establishing how they will follow up with Chambers.