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Male arrested after string of robberies in eastern Ontario

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have confirmed that one male has been arrested following a string of robberies in the eastern part of the province, including one that occurred in Northbrook last week.

Photo by Lucas Mulder.

As reported by Kingstonist on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, a robbery took place on Highway 41 in Northbook that morning. Northbrook, a small town within Addington Highlands County (the County has a population of a 2,323 as of the 2016 Statistics Canada Census), is just outside of North Frontenac Township. Specifically, the robbery occurred at the Bank of Montreal (BMO) location at the corner of Highway 41 and Peterson Road, according to witnesses, however, the Lennox and Addington (L&A) OPP would only confirm that the incident occurred at “a business on Highway 41,” and the Foodland location across the street from the BMO was also taped off by police in addition to the bank.

Today, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, the OPP confirmed further details of that robbery.

“On August 12, 2022, just before 11:00 a.m., an individual entered a business on Highway 41 in Northbrook and approached an employee, indicating that they were armed and demanding cash,” the OPP said in a press release.

“The individual then fled the scene in a vehicle with a quantity of cash.”

The Foodland and Bank of Montreal locations on Highway 41 in Northbrook within the hour after the police tape was removed from both buildings following a robbery on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. Photo by Peter McKenty/Kingstonist.

According to the OPP, the suspect was located two days later. Just before 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, officers with the L&A Detachment of the OPP, who were conducting general patrol, “located the vehicle that matched the description” of the vehicle from the robbery in Northbrook. The lone occupant of the vehicle was identified and arrested by police, who were then able to link the man to two other recent robberies in eastern Ontario – one that occurred in Pembroke, and another that occurred in Mississippi Mills. The OPP did not say what dates those robberies occurred on.

In response to inquiries from Kingstonist regarding the amount of money the suspect was able to obtain through the robberies, the OPP indicated that information “would be considered evidence in the investigation” and could therefore not be disclosed.

As a result of the ensuing investigation, James Finnegan, 63, of no fixed address, has been charged with:

  • Three counts of robbery with violence
  • Three counts of disguising oneself with the intent to commit an indictable offence
  • Flight from a peace officer
  • Operation of a motor vehicle while prohibited
  • Possession of the proceeds of property obtained by crime under $5,000
  • Two counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000
  • Four counts of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000

In response to questions from Kingstonist, Const. Brianna Raison, Media Relations Officer for the L&A OPP, indicated that police believe Finnegan was operating alone throughout the string of crimes.

“No additional suspects are being sought at this time,” she said.

According to the OPP, Finnegan appeared in the Ontario Court of Justice in Napanee on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, for a bail hearing. He was subsequently remanded into custody and will appear in court again on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022.

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