Suspect in armed robberies facing numerous charges
A 29-year-old Kitchener man is facing numerous charges after two incidents in the same area on Tuesday and a standoff at the Kitchener Motel.
Police say the man has been arrested for two counts of robbery, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon and possession of stolen property.
The weapon involved, believed to be a handgun, has been recovered.
Early Tuesday afternoon an employee at an apartment building on York Street in Kitchener was robbed by an armed suspect and sustained minor injuries.
Police say the man was trying to steal a car, and in the process threatened and confined an employee of the property management company.
Within minutes of that robbery, a nearby pharmacy on Park Street was also robbed by an armed man. An undisclosed amount of prescription medication was taken.
The suspect was tracked to a motel on Victoria Street in Kitchener, and it took several hours of negotiating before he was arrested.
The man arrested at the motel is reportedly Matthew Butcher, and the news has been difficult for those who have been trying to help him.
Police say a search for prescription drugs may have fuelled the crime spree, and that comes as no surprise to his family, who say he's addicted to Oxycontin and heroin.
Theresa Butcher, Matthew's step-mother, says "Yes he's done a bad thing. Yes, we're very embarrassed by it. But again, he's an addict. He's addicted to alcohol and all kinds of drugs, hard drugs that can't just be gone in one day. Matt has tried for the last month to get the help he needs. He's been turned away from everywhere he went."
Police say the type of drug theft and erratic behviour that happened on Tuesday is becoming more frequent.
Over the weekend two people were arrested in connection with a string of pharmacy robberies in which a handgun was also used.
John Ibbotson, of the Waterloo Region Pharmacist Association, says "Most pharmacists are told to comply with the request because they don't want any violence happening in the pharmacy."
And while pharmacists were relieved to hear about the weekend arrests, there are concerns the holdups keep happening.
Unfortunately for Matthew, his step-mother says "There's just been no help for Matt. He's been pushed aside from jail to jail, and now he will be in jail for a long time."
Initially taken to hospital, he was scheduled to make a court appearance Wednesday afternoon. The charges have yet to be proven in court.
Anyone with information is asked to call 519-653-7700 Ext. 3399 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.