Person of interest in 24-hour crime spree arrested
A Toronto police cruiser is pictured in this file photo. (CP24/Tom Stefanac)
Paul Johnston and Sandie Benitah , cp24.com
Published Friday, November 16, 2012 9:30PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2012 9:45PM EST
A person of interest identified earlier this month in connection to a violent crime spree that included robberies and home invasions has been identified and arrested, Toronto police say.
Andrew Brown, 28, of Toronto, faces 25 charges including attempted murder, assault with a weapon and multiple counts of armed robbery and kidnapping in connection with a 24-hour crime spree that occurred in October.
At a news conference earlier this month, police announced that a man and two teenaged girls had been arrested in connection with the spree that saw several people robbed, injured and held against their will.
The series of events began in west-end Toronto the night of Oct. 16, when three men entered a house on Clearview Heights and held the homeowners at gunpoint.
The men robbed the homeowners of cash, jewelry, identification and electronics before moving on to other apartments inside the house, violently robbing three residents of the Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue-area dwelling.
When a resident living in the basement refused to open the door to his apartment, one of the suspects fired a gunshot, striking the 48-year-old man.
The man suffered a broken arm and a lacerated liver, and one of his kidneys had to be removed.
The suspects fled the scene after robbing the victims of their personal belongings.
Less than 24 hours later, at 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 17, a group of suspects returned to the same area, this time swarming a 33-year-old man and robbing him of his cellphone and cash.
The man told police it was three men and two women who had accosted him.
Fifteen minutes later, the same group is believed to have forced their way inside another home on Clearview Heights.
Police say the suspects managed to confine an 18- and 22-year-old victim as they ransacked the home for goods.
As they were leaving, they spotted a 17-year-old male on the street and held him at gunpoint. They forced the male to come with them to another home on the street and, while pointing a gun at him, demanded he knock on the door.
The group once again forced their way into the home after the door was opened by two women – identified by police as being 27 and 34 years old.
The older woman was pistol whipped as the suspects ransacked the home for electronics and cash.
The suspects then pointed the gun at the younger woman, forcing her to knock on the door of another apartment in the same dwelling. A 16-year-old resident of that apartment recognized her voice and opened the door, only to be attacked by the group of suspects.
The 16-year-old was then forced out of the home at gunpoint and into an awaiting black Jeep.
Officers spotted the suspects’ vehicle as it sped away when they arrived at the scene at around 9:30 p.m. A short time later, the driver of the Jeep lost control and crashed through a fence and into a home on Bicknell Avenue.
The suspects, along with the victim, all fled the scene on foot as officers gave chase.
The 16-year-old boy managed to escape from the group without injury during the foot pursuit.
The suspects managed to elude police but investigators were able to locate a handgun and some stolen property inside the abandoned car.
Soon after, detectives on the case were able to identify three suspects.
Less than a week later, on Oct. 25, officers arrested a 28-year-old Toronto man identified as Wendel McLean.
The next day, police arrested two females, aged 15 and 16. Their names can’t be released under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The three suspects face 48 charges combined, including multiple charges of armed robbery. McLean is also charged with attempted murder and kidnapping.