Suspect in jewelry store robberies sentenced
Published Friday, April 27, 2012 6:08PM EDT
One of the men accused in the armed robbery of the Peoples Jewellers locations in Kitchener and Guelph has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to nine years behind bars.
Nima Malek is one of four men charged in the robbery at the Fairview Park Mall location in December 2010 and one of two men arrested in the Stone Road Mall robbery in Jan. 2011.
Waterloo Regional Police Insp. Kevin Thaler says "It was certainly alarming to the public...back when the robberies occurred."
Originally from Richmond Hill, near Toronto, he appeared in a St. Catharines courtroom on Friday as there were additional charges against him in that region.
The 20-year-old was handed a sentence of eight years and seven month, but with pre-trial custody he will serve a total of nine years.
The sentence follows a guilty plea in connection with the two local robberies as well as an additional robbery incident in the Niagara Region.
According to the Niagara Regional Police Service that incident occurred in August 2011, when Malek attempted to rob a jeweller at the St. Catharines Flea Market.
Several bystanders stopped and held Malek down and during a scuffle one of the men was shot in the stomach. He suffered life-threatening injuries but has since recovered.
In the Kitchener and Guelph robberies Malek pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two counts of disguise with intent and two counts of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an indictable offence.
He also pleaded guilty to robbery, aggravated assault causing bodily harm, disguise with intent and breach of recognizance for the incident in Niagara.
Thaler says "In this case it was exceptional cooperation between the Guelph police, Niagara Regional police, Waterloo Regional police and, in fact, Toronto as well."
The cases of the other men accused in the jewelry store robberies in Kitchener and Guelph are still before the courts.