Police charge second man in Salvation Army theft
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 8:48AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:47PM EST
Toronto police have charged a second man in the theft of about $2 million worth of donated toys and food from a Salvation Army warehouse.
Charges were laid Wednesday night after investigators carried out a search at a Brampton warehouse, where they seized an additional 26 skids of donated items, including toys, school and cleaning supplies, and food, police confirmed Thursday.
Because it is still an "active" investigation, police have not ruled out the possibility of additional arrests as they search for property that is still missing.
“I’m happy to say that a good chunk of the stolen property has been recovered by police,” spokesman Const. Tony Vella told CP24 reporter Katie Simpson on Thursday.
Salvation Army officials said the second suspect has no relationship with the organization.
“As we have stated publicly in the past, we have not had a business or personal relationship of any kind with the second individual arrested or his company,” the Salvation Army said in a statement.
Police believe toys and other goods were stolen from the non-profit charity’s warehouse on Railside Road in Toronto over a two-year period.
Earlier this month, officers recovered three trucks full of stolen goods that were being concealed at the same Brampton warehouse, where they also found two bicycles that were donated by Premier Dalton McGuinty, police said.
Police said products were stolen after being shipped to the Salvation Army warehouse. Other times, shipments were directed to another warehouse without the permission or knowledge of the Salvation Army.
Investigators allege the goods were meant to be resold for a profit.
After the second arrest, the Salvation Army publicly thanked and commended the police service for its work.
“We are well on our way to helping to make this Christmas a special time for thousands of families, something which would not have been possible without the police and the generosity of many businesses and people in our communities,” the organization said.
Police said Umaish Ramrattan, 61, of Ajax has been charged with 40 theft-related offences:
- 10 counts of theft over $5,000
- 10 counts of possession of property obtained by crime (over $5,000)
- Seven counts of possession of property obtained by crime (under $5,000)
- Seven counts of theft under $5,000
- Two counts of possession of stolen goods for the purpose of trafficking
- Criminal breach of trust
- Trafficking stolen goods over $5,000
- Trafficking stolen goods under $5,000
- Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence
Ramrattan is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 4.
Earlier this month, police charged former Salvation Army executive David Rennie, 51, with the same offences.
In response to the massive theft, the Salvation Army is reviewing its security procedures.
Police are asking anyone with information about the theft to call investigators at 416-808-3300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
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