A united police effort landed two Maple Ridge men in jail and ended a rash of armed Lower Mainland robberies.
Police announced Friday that two local young men, including one who was a local realtor, are facing a series of charges in connection with pharmacy robberies.
Police have recommended charges against Ryan Olson, 27, and 29-year-old Luke Ash for robberies at a Langley Pharmasave, Blueridge Pharmacy in Abbotsford, twice at Surlang Pharmacy in Surrey, and The Chemist in Maple Ridge. The heists took place from Aug. 21 to Oct. 12.
Ash was a realtor in Maple Ridge for Royal LePage Brookside, but is no longer licenced.
"Royal LePage - Brookside surrendered Ash's licence on Nov. 22," said Tyler Davies, spokesperson for the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.
"Luke always presented himself as a very likeable and pleasant young man. This is a shock to all of us in our real estate industry," said Bob Quinnell, Royal LePage - Brookside's general manager.
"When we heard of this situation we immediately notified the Real Estate Council of BC, who oversees our licensing system. The council requested that we send Luke's licence to them immediately," said Quinnell, adding that it is "important to note that police checks are taken of anyone prior to obtaining a real estate licence."
Ash was originally licensed in July 2011, according to Davies.
Neither of the suspects, who were arrested in Maple Ridge, are known to police, said RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh.
"Members of our street enforcement unit did an outstanding job of investigating, and coordinating these robberies, and have made the Lower Mainland a much safer place to live," Walsh said.
"They utilized a number of strategies that have resulted in these charges, which has included the recovery of some of the stolen property and other items that will be used as evidence in court."
Walsh also acknowledged the cooperative efforts with Surrey RCMP's robbery unit, Langley RCMP's general investigation section, and both Abbotsford and Port Moody municipal police forces.
"This clearly shows how all Lower Mainland RCMP work with all of our neighbouring detachments and municipal police agencies, as criminals don't recognize any border or boundaries," Walsh said.
Both men appeared in provincial court on Thursday, Nov. 22, with Ash being granted bail while Olson was remanded in custody until their next court appearance on Dec. 6.