01/04/2013 01:23 EST | Updated 03/06/2013 05:12 EST

Alleged grocery robber nabbed by police

Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a series of armed robberies across Metro Vancouver.

Thomas John Schwartz, a 68-year-old Squamish man, was stopped by border officials on December 15 as he tried to cross into the United States. He was arrested on an outstanding U.S. warrant from 1972 relating to allegations of desertion from the U.S. Air Force.

U.S. authorities contacted Canadian investigators on December 21 and began looking into the Schwartz’s background.

They discovered he had been living in Canada under an assumed name — Tom Stone — and that he was being investigated by multiple police agencies in connection with the robberies of seven grocery stores across Metro Vancouver, including a Toys "R" Us filled with holiday shoppers.

Schwartz, a U.S. citizen, has been charged with robbery and weapons related offences. The investigation is continuing and police say additional charges are expected.

He remains in custody in the U.S. pending an extradition hearing scheduled for March 11.