BELLEVILLE – The so-called ‘Blue Jays bandit’ was sentenced to four years in prison for eight counts of armed robbery on Friday.
30-year-old Tristan Drouin was given the nickname because he often sported a Blue Jays baseball cap when robbing banks.
Drouin pleaded guilty to eight robberies three months after he was arrested.
The robberies happened in Kingston, Richmond Hill, Napanee, Oshawa, Trenton, Toronto, Bowmanville and Cobourg. These robberies took place between August and December of 2016. Drouin stole over $10,000 in cash.
He was caught by the OPP on December 16 in Quinte West after robbing two banks that day; one in Cobourg and one in Bowmanville.
In every bank he went into, he presented the teller with a note that had instructions to give him a specific amount of money. In the note, he also warned that he was armed and would come back if they set off any alarms or notified the police.
When police searched his gold Cadillac, they found similar notes written in the same font, along with some of the stolen money and his infamous Blue Jays baseball hat. They did not find any weapons.
The court heard that some of the bank tellers who were victims of the robberies are still dealing with the trauma. Some of them have a hard time dealing with customers that look like Drouin.
Drouin had no criminal record prior to this offence, and his lawyer assured the court that this would be his first and last time before the court.
Before pronouncing his sentence, Justice Stephen Hunter said that after 26 years on the bench that human behaviour still continues to surprise him.
Just before he was sentenced, Drouin stood in front of court and delivered a quiet apology.
“I’m really sorry to anyone I affected and it was wrong, especially the tellers. I am really sorry. I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” said Drouin.
His lawyer told the court that before Drouin stole thousands of dollars from multiple banks, he was living in Gatineau, Quebec where he was laid off from his job. His lawyer said that Drouin had also just lost his father to cancer, at a time when he was financially dependent on his father.
His lawyer also said Drouin suffers from bi-polar disorder, social anxiety and depression.