VANCOUVER – A man accused of violently robbing two transit users over the summer has now been identified, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Transit Police say 42-year-old Andrew Krizmantis of no fixed address has been charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempting to choke to overcome resistance. Police say he was identified through tips from the public.
"The part that's particularly concerning is just the level of violence that he's willing to use," said Sgt. Clint Hampton with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police. "This is not something that we see on a regular basis. In fact, it's something that I can't recall having dealt with at least with Transit Police where we've had two victims that have actually been choked until they were unconscious."
The first incident took place on the morning of Aug. 18 just after midnight. Police say Krizmantis befriended a man on a bus heading to Marine Drive station on the Canada Line. When the man got off the bus, police say Krizmantis followed him, put him in a headlock and then choked him until he lost consciousness. Transit Police say the victim's phone was then stolen.
In a second incident two days later, Krizmantis allegedly started a conversation with a 26-year-old man who was entering Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station. Police say the victim tried to leave but the suspect held the victim in a headlock until he lost consciousness. Krizmantis then allegedly stole the victim's wallet and made a $400 purchase from a convenience store using the victim's credit card.
"When somebody's committing something like this, the risk to those people for serious harm or even death is there," said Hampton.
Police say Krizmantis is well-known to them and may be heading to or in Eastern Canada or the Sunshine Coast.
He's described as a white man with a stocky build and short brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone who has information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Transit Police on their tip line at 604-515-8300.