|US Border Agent patrol at Aldergrove/Lynden border crossing at Aldergrove British Columbia, Saturday June 16, 2012 Travis Baumgartner was arrested. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)
Officers at the port of Lynden, WA, weren’t asking questions when triple-murder suspect Travis Baumgartner rolled up, a senior border official said.
They knew Baumgartner, 21, was heading to the Aldergrove/Lynden border crossing, about 31 km south of Abbotsford, B.C., long before he ever arrived.
The licence plate on the dark blue Ford F150 was scanned from a distance, explained Chief Chief U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Thomas Schreiber, which is a common measure to expedite legitimate trade and travel.
But this time it turned them on to the man Edmonton police believe is responsible for massacring his G4S security co-workers Friday at the HUB Mall at the University of Alberta while exchanging funds at an ABM machine.
“We start making commands ... we don’t ask ‘how’s your day?’ ” he said.
“By the time a vehicle and its occupants arrive at the point of entry we have a pretty good idea who’s inside.”
No weapons were found in the vehicle, but Baumgartner did have a backpack with “just in excess of $330,000 Canadian currency,” Schreiber said, adding the money is suspected to be proceeds of Friday’s early morning carnage Baumgartner is suspected of.
Baumgartner was one of five security guards working the exchange.
G4S guards Michelle Shegelski, Brian Ilesic and Eddie Rejano were shot and killed, while Matthew Schuman, another guard, was shot and remains in critical condition in hospital.
A G4S armoured car, which police believe was the getaway vehicle used in the robbery, was discovered empty near a southeast Edmonton G4S facility early Friday.
Surveillance footage from the nearby Edmonton Sun press plant shows the driver of the armoured car park and retrieve something from the back of the vehicle before getting into a truck and leaving.
EPS commended all the friends, family and G4S employees involved for their co-operation.
Not long before midnight Baumgartner had been processed, spending most of the day in custody on the U.S. side of the border.
Almost a dozen border officers and Mounties handled the exchange, with a cuffed Baumgartner dressed in white taken from a U.S. customs truck and into the offices in Aldergrove, on the Canadian side.
Within 15 minutes he was on the move again, under RCMP escort.
The truck he rolled up in was brought back to Canadian soil as well.
Schreiber called co-operation between the U.S. and Canada vital to “keeping communities safe on both sides of the border,” noting it’s not uncommon for people to try to get across to escape the law of whichever country they’re coming from.
- With files from Allison Salz and Richard Zussman
On twitter: @SUNDamienWood