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Updated: Wed, 14 May 2014 13:15:41 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Woman paid cash for van used in armoured truck heist, police say



Police search the scene of an armoured car robbery at Fairview mall. Tony Smyth/CBC

Police search the scene of an armoured car robbery at Fairview mall. Tony Smyth/CBC

Toronto police want to find a woman who in January bought a silver 2000 Dodge Caravan, which was used in a violent armoured truck robbery at Fairview Mall days later.

Staff Insp. Mike Earl told reporters today that investigators have determined the vehicle was advertised on Kijiji and sold in Ajax on Jan. 10.

The woman, who paid cash for the van, is described as a five-foot-six, 160-pounds, black, with long hair and a round face. Earl said she is believed to be in her 20s.

"We're looking for this female to come forward," said Earl, during a news conference at police headquarters that can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

"It’s quite possible the female could have been duped by the males that were responsible for this robbery," he added.

Ten days after the van was purchased, it pulled in front of a G4S armoured car that was delivering cash to Fairview Mall on the evening of Jan. 20.

The two men inside the van wore masks and were armed with handguns. They overpowered the guards and got away with a bag of money, Earl said.

When pressed to specify how much money was taken in the robbery, Earl said: "I would say it was just under $100,000. I won’t give you the exact amount."

Shots fired by both sides

An exchange of gunfire occurred during the robbery, though no one was hurt.

Earl would not say who fired first.

"Bad guys had guns and the guards are defending themselves," he said.

The robbers fled the scene and ditched the van about a kilometre away, at Kingslake Road and Waddington Crescent.

"This was an organized, planned event," Earl said.

Police have collected trace evidence from the van, but Earl said he is reaching out to the public as the investigation into the heist has stalled.

"We’ve had some tips, there was an original press release issued right after the robbery, but at this point and time the information has gone dry," he said.

Earl said police want to hear from anyone who can help investigators identify the woman who bought the van, or those with other information about the heist.

Investigators can be reached at 416-808-7350. Information can also be passed on anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.

GardaWorld, the company that owns G4S Cash Solutions, is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of those involved in the robbery.

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