The man suspected of robbing two banks last month in Comox and Campbell River was granted a conditional release during his first court appearance Thursday morning.
Via video conference from Victoria at the Courtenay courthouse, Michael Arthur Leighton, 25, of Merville, was given the release with a surety of $1,000 without deposit along with 15 conditions.
The conditions include to consume no alcohol and drugs, to not possess any weapons, follow a curfew of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily and do not be within one block of the either of the two banking locations.
On Dec. 9, a man entered the Coastal Community Credit Union on Comox Avenue and the Bank of Montreal on Shoppers Row in Campbell River.
The suspect, who police believe to be the same in both robberies, demanded money and told staff he had a gun, although one was not seen. He then took off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Following an extensive investigation by the Comox Valley RCMP’s General Investigation Section, a search warrant was executed Dec. 13 and Leighton was arrested.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 30 at 9:30 a.m. in front of the judicial case manager.