Montreal musician accused of robbing 10 banks
Those who know him say Mark Vandendool is not just a passionate guitarist, but also a really nice person. What few knew is that he appears to have been living a double life.
Last Tuesday, he allegedly walked into the Bank of Montreal on Cote des Neiges Rd., less than two blocks from a police station. Police say Vandendool held up the teller with a fake gun but before he could get away with any cash, police showed up.
“The suspect ran away from the bank and outside he tried to escape the policeman” but he was eventually arrested, said police spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils.
Police say he was wearing a disguise, which came off as he ran away. Police believe Vandendool robbed nine other banks since last November, including in branches in Kirkland, Westmount, Pointe Claire, Dorval and Ahuntsic.
Vandendool, 34, recently had been active on the local club scene. He was lead guitarist for the '80s cover band Backtraxx. He was also a music teacher and gave guitar lessons.
Friends, family and former students are stunned by his arrest.
"Oh my God, it really doesn't make any sense to me because he comes from a very wealthy family and he had everything he needed. He's such a talented musician," said former student Danya Leutsch.
Ten years ago, when he was 25 years old and living in Kitchener, Ont., Vandendool was sentenced to five years in prison for covering his face and attempting to rob a bank with a fake gun.
Vandendool's lawyer claimed his client suffered attention deficit disorder and he wanted to prove he could get ahead in life without his parents' support.
Vandendool is now behind bars and facing charges which include armed robbery, resisting arrest and brandishing a fake weapon. He'll have a bail hearing next Friday.