Calgary police credit hard work, vigilant public in hard-won arrest of prolific robbery suspect

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Calgary police escort Daniel Paul Loveys, 28, into the CPS arrest processing unit on Thursday, Aug. 10 2017. Bryan Passifiume/Postmedia Network Bryan Passifiume/Postmedia Network

For one veteran CPS detective, few arrests have been as satisfying as one made late last week at a south Calgary LRT station. 

Daniel Paul Loveys, 28, was taken into custody a little before noon Thursday at the Anderson LRT station — wanted for a string of armed robberies in Calgary over the past year.

His was a file all-too familiar for Det. Theresa Garagan, who doesn’t mind the mountains of paperwork behind the 35 charges laid against him — on top of the more than 30 he’s already facing.

“It’s good paper, but it’s going to definitely be time consuming for all of us,” Garagan said with a laugh. 

“It’s going to be worth getting it done properly and before the courts.”

Police accuse Loveys of a spree of commercial armed robberies, largely targeting pet shops, that have terrorized city retailers since last summer — including nine since the end of July. 

Seeing Loveys behind bars represents the end of a taxing investigation for Garagan and her colleagues, frustrated at a justice system that — despite a growing spate of charges — seemed to have little issue with putting him back on the street.

“It’s definitely been a catch and release,” she said. 

“He’s an obvious flight risk — he shows clear signs of fleeing and not showing up for court. He’s got a history.”

Thursday’s arrest — Lovey’s fourth for armed robbery — was the second time Garagan was involved in the collar.

She’s now hoping his 65 charges — plus those still pending — will be enough to keep Loveys off the streets until his trial.

“EXTREMELY RESPECTFUL”

Daniel Loveys, 28. Calgary police handout

Daniel Loveys’ alleged crimes are about the only remarkable thing about the unassuming 28-year-old.

Tall, dark-haired and bespectacled, his slightly protruding ears and wire-rimmed glasses giving a disarmingly nerdy look, he hails from the tiny southeast Saskatchewan town of Oxbow — population 1,200 — about 60 kilometres east of Estevan.

With no previous criminal history, Loveys’ first blip on police radar was a June 12, 2016, armed robbery of a Calgary pet store, followed by a second the next day. 

He’s been charged with both. 

His alleged robberies largely follow the same modus operandi: small retail operations, usually in busy shopping areas, and almost always pet stores. 

His alleged victims remember him as overtly polite — even apologizing as he walks behind the counter to demand cash at knifepoint. 

His prior police interactions have been downright pleasant. 

“He was extremely respectful, but he wouldn’t say a whole lot,” Garagan said.

“He was apologetic he couldn’t tell me more.”

Const. Brad Tepper, assisting in the investigation since last summer, attended several of Loveys’ alleged robbery scenes. 

“He was calm, cool — just in and out,” he said. 

“There’s been some where he’ll actually hover, get items and pretend he’s a customer — he’s not a run-in, run-out guy.”

Financial loss aside, Tepper said it’s the clerks — mostly teenaged girls owing to the pet store preference — who bear the greatest effects. 

“They shake, they visibly shake,” recalled Sgt. Pete Barker, also lending a hand in the case, who said some were so traumatized CPS victim services needed to be called. 

“It’s the victims. That’s what sticks in our minds. That’s what drives us,” Barker said. 

FOURTH TIME’S THE CHARM

Aside from his alleged Calgary crimes, Postmedia has learned Loveys is also wanted in his home province for armed robbery, auto theft, possession of stolen property and failing to appear in court.

It was during a visit home when he was first arrested on Aug. 28, 2016.

Loveys, accompanied by his 23-year-old girlfriend, allegedly stole his mother’s truck and robbed a popular Oxbow, Sask., pizzeria. 

Fleeing north where he’s accused of stealing a second truck, they made it as far as the tiny hamlet of Morse, Sask., before Mounties caught up. 

Arraigned in Swift Current, they were released by the court pending their next appearance — an appointment Loveys didn’t keep. 

Returning to Calgary, he allegedly used a knife to steal a truck from an auto-parts store on Sept. 29, threatening to kill an employee. 

Followed by police, he was arrested after a brief foot chase.

Once again the courts released him — with conditions to check in monthly with the Calgary probation office. 

An arrest warrant was issued after blowing off his December 2016 appointment. 

Arrest No. 3 came on April 12, after he was found hiding in a residence.

With Loveys now facing breach of conditions charges, Garagan thought they’d seen the last of him until trial. 

That changed two weeks ago when a colleague mentioned that Loveys was out — released May 26 after somebody posted his $500 bail. 

“We had no idea he was out . . . we made a bad assumption,” she said.

“C’mon! He was facing 30 charges — we thought, ‘he’s not getting out of jail.’

“I was absolutely stunned.”

A July 30 meat store robbery was the beginning of a streak of nine armed robberies Loveys is suspected in that ended with Thursday’s arrest.

Garagan credits the vigilance of Calgary’s pet shop community — and an eagle-eyed clerk — not only with Thursday’s capture,  but possibly thwarting another robbery. 

He was entering a southwest pet shop when he was shocked to see his wanted poster taped to the front window. 

A store employee immediately recognized him and called police as he fled to the LRT.

Followed by HAWCS hovering overhead, he was arrested soon after at the Anderson CTrain station.

After spending the weekend in custody, Loveys is due to appear in court Monday morning.

It’ll be an appearance Garagan — and his alleged victims — will watch closely. 

bpassifiume@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume


Current charges (Source: Alberta court records)

Aug. 14, 2017, appearance date:
5 x Possession of weapon dangerous to the public
1 x Obstruct police officer
24 x Failure to comply with release conditions
1 x Failure to produce proof of fare, Calgary Transit Bylaw
5 x Robbery
1 x Theft

Aug 17, 2017, appearance date
1 x Theft
1 x Assault
2 x Uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm
1 x Possession of weapon dangerous to the public
1 x Possession of concealed weapon
1 x Transportation by fraud

Sept. 29, 2017, appearance date
6 x Robbery
8 x Possession of weapon dangerous to the public
8 x Possession of concealed weapon


Partial timeline
 (Sources: Calgary Police Service, Alberta Solicitor General, RCMP)

June 12, 2016
— Accused, armed pet store robbery (Calgary)
June 13, 2016 — Accused, armed pet store robbery (Calgary)
Believed in Saskatchewan between June and Aug.
Aug. 11, 2016 — Accused of armed pet store robbery (Calgary)
Aug. 12, 2016 — Accused of armed pet store robbery (Calgary)
Aug. 13, 2016 — Accused of armed pet store robbery (Calgary)
Aug. 16, 2016 — Accused of armed meat store robbery (Calgary)
Aug. 21, 2016 — Accused of armed meat store robbery (Calgary)
Aug. 23, 2016  — Accused of auto theft (Oxbow, Sask.)
Aug. 28, 2016
 — Arrested after alleged armed robbery and auto theft (Morse, Sask.)
Aug. 29, 2016 — Arraigned, released pending next court appearance (Swift Current, Sask.)
Sept. 29, 2016 — Arrested, armed robbery, vehicle theft, weapons, threaten death/bodily harm (Calgary)
Dec. 14, 2016 — Warrant issued, breach of release conditions
Jan. 26, 2017 — Warrant issued, failure to appear in court (Swift Current, Sask)
April 12, 2017
— Arrested, held on $500 bail
May 26, 2017 — Released on bail
July 30, 2016 — Accused, meat store robbery (Calgary)

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