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Fentanyl addiction behind a quarter of Calgary bank robberies: police

WATCH ABOVE: Calgary police have revealed fentanyl addicts desperate for cash are behind a recent string of bank robberies. Jill Croteau reports.

CALGARY – Police say fentanyl addicts desperate for cash are behind a quarter of the bank robberies in Calgary in 2015.

So far this year, Calgary police have investigated 41 bank robberies. S/Sgt. David Keagan says suspects connected to 11 of those robberies have indicated their actions were motivated by an addiction to fentanyl.

“This drug is so addictive and so compelling that it’s causing people to elevate themselves to a form of crime that is what we’d consider to be very high risk for a low return,” said S/Sgt. Keagan. “The amount of money typically people believe they’d get from a bank robbery is not even close to what they would get.”

READ MORE: Fentanyl fact sheet: what it is and what it does

Thomas Beach with Recovery Calgary says the robberies show just how desperate some people are to get their hands on the drug.

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“It’s not that they’re addicted to the criminal tendencies… they’re addicted to the drug so bad that they’ll stop at nothing to get it.”

In 2013, Calgary police responded to a total of 31 bank robberies.

– With files from Jill Croteau