Two men who disappeared from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital on New Year's Day could be connected to a rash of recent robberies in west central Alberta.
Martin George Chambers, 46, and Clayton Duquette, 35, went missing from the Port Coquitlam psychiatric hospital on Jan. 1.
Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said police don't know if the men were together while they were missing. Duquette has been located in Grande Prairie, Alta., while Chambers voluntarily returned to Colony Farm on Jan. 12.
Meanwhile, Grande Prairie RCMP reported a robbery on Jan. 3 at a pharmacy, in which a man with a weapon demanded drugs from an employee.
On Jan. 9, a man robbed a Grande Prairie restaurant during the lunch hour. He walked behind the counter with what appeared to be a firearm and took money from the till before leaving through a side door.
That night, police received a call about a suspicious man matching the suspect's description. Grande Prairie RCMP arrested a man without incident in connection with both robberies.
Duquette, of no fixed address in B.C., appeared in Grande Prairie provincial court Jan. 10 to face 17 criminal code charges. Two of the charges are related to the restaurant and pharmacy robberies.
Duquette is charged with incidents that occurred between Jan. 2 and Jan. 9: five counts of break and enter (both business and residential), two counts of robbery, two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm and four counts of property obtained by crime, including three vehicles.
On Jan. 11, Grande Prairie RCMP announced that Chambers is also a "person of interest" in relation to two robberies for which Duquette was charged.
According to B.C.'s Provincial Health Services Authority, which is responsible for Colony Farm, on June 14, 1985, Chambers was found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder on a charge of second-degree murder.
On May 4, 2004, Duquette was found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder on a charge of assault.
Grande Prairie RCMP did not return calls before NOW deadline.