Alleged bank robber was released from custody by mistake
Published Monday, December 4, 2017 12:09PM PST
Last Updated Monday, December 4, 2017 6:52PM PST
A man who is on the loose after allegedly committing several bank robberies in B.C.'s Lower Mainland was released from custody by mistake, according to law enforcement.
Over the weekend, police issued a public warning that Dean Richard Zastowny is unlawfully at large and that the 47-year-old is believed to be armed and dangerous.
On Monday, the RCMP revealed Zastowny was let out of a pre-trial facility in Surrey by accident.
Pressed for details on what happened, the agency in charge of the alleged bank robber's incarceration, BC Corrections, issued a brief statement indicating that it is investigating.
"We can confirm there was an incident related to the release of an inmate from Surrey Pretrial Services Centre," spokesperson Cindy Rose said in an email.
"BC Corrections is taking this matter very seriously and is conducting a full review to investigate the circumstances. Given the ongoing investigations, we are unable to release any further details at this time."
Zastowny has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for assaulting a peace officer, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, robbery and theft over $5,000.
He was arrested in November in connection with a number of robberies in Burnaby and Abbotsford.
Few details of the robberies have been released, but surveillance video from one of them shows a man hopping over a bank counter then holding a knife to a teller's throat.
Zastowny is described as a 6-1 tall white man who weighs 215 lbs. He has blue eyes, brown hair and tattoos, including a full sleeve on his right forearm featuring a skull and a snake.
Anyone who sees him is encouraged to call 911 immediately. Police warn he could be carrying a weapon and should not be approached.