Blue Line


September 6, 2013  By Morley Lymburner

453 words – MR

Exceptional bravery and investigations honoured

Increasingly violent bank robbers have been removed from the streets in Montreal and Vancouver thanks to the outstanding work of this year’s Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA) recipients.

Senior Cst. François Clavel and Cst. Bryan Brown of the Montreal Police Service and Det/Cst. Dean Wells of the Vancouver Police Service Robbery Unit each received the award during a ceremony at the CACP conference in Winnipeg.


“Canadian financial institutions, their employees and customers are very grateful for the important work and dedication that these three police officers have demonstrated, which is why they are so deserving of this prestigious award,” said Nathalie Clark of the Canadian Bankers Association. “Security and safety are always the top priority for Canadian banks and that is why they work closely with police services across the country to help protect their employees and customers.”


Clavel and Brown were the first to respond to an armed bank robbery in a Montreal suburb in November 2012. The suspect had entered the bank and threatened the security guard, clients and staff with a gun. He made off with a small sum of money and the bank quickly notified police.

Clavel and Brown responded and located the armed suspect in a park, pursuing him first by patrol car and then on foot. After a short confrontation they arrested him and seized his weapon, disguise and money.

What made the case so extraordinary was that both officers pursued the armed suspect without any hesitation, risking their own lives to make sure that an arrest was made. Their bravery and determination resulted in the arrest of a dangerous and violent criminal who was later linked to other area bank robberies.


Wells was assigned as lead detective in eight Vancouver area bank robberies staged by armed suspects wearing elaborate disguises. The amount of cash demanded in each robbery increased, along with the level of violence.

Wells reviewed security videos and statements from all the robberies and quickly determined they were connected because of similarities in the disguises and tactics used. No forensic evidence was left at the scenes. It was through surveillance and his exceptional investigative skills that the suspects were tracked down and arrested as they left the eighth robbery.

Wells’ thorough investigation, active pursuit of the suspects and determination to stop the increasingly violent robberies resulted in banks, their employees and customers and the Vancouver community as a whole being much safer.


Since its creation in 1972, 226 officers from across Canada have been honoured with the Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award for their outstanding bravery, dedication and other noteworthy achievements in combating crimes against Canada’s banks. Visit to learn more.

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