Police say break-and-enter 'ring' targeted 25 high-end homes in Toronto
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, February 1, 2017 5:30AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 1, 2017 11:54AM EST
Police say eight people have been arrested in connection with a break-and-enter “ring” that targeted more than 20 high-end homes in Toronto.
Speaking to reporters at Toronto police headquarters Wednesday, Acting Insp. Joanne Rudnick said an investigation, dubbed ‘Project High Class,’ was launched into a group of individuals who police believed were responsible for a number of break-ins at expensive homes in the city.
On Jan. 28, police say two vehicles wanted in connection with the case were located in the area of Royal York Avenue and Eglinton Avenue.
When officers stopped and searched the vehicles, Rudnick said officers found burglar tools, two-way radios, cellphones, clothing and bags.
Seven people were arrested at the scene.
“Further investigation led to two criminal code search warrants that were executed on addresses within Toronto, where a large quantity of stolen property was recovered,” Rudnick said.
She said officers found jewelry, cash, expensive handbags, coin and stamp collections as well as electronics.
She estimated that the total value of the seized items was approximately $500,000.
“These people area ring, we are calling them a ring, and they are working, they are highly organized, they are targeting certain areas and neighbourhoods, certainly within 22 division,” Rudnick said, adding that 21 of the 25 break-ins occurred at homes in South Etobicoke.
“We called it ‘Project High Class’ because they were targeting very high-end homes with an expectation that expensive items would be able to be had from those break-and-enters.”
Sergio Vilo, 63, Diego Fuenzalida, 24, Gabriel Pena Gutierrez, 39, and Maria Pardo, 59, are all facing numerous charges in connection with the case, including breaking and entering, possession of property obtained by crime, and possession of burglar tools.
Police say two other adults—a 54-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman—were arrested in connection with the case but police did not identify the pair.
Two suspects arrested in the case were minors at the time of the alleged break-ins and cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Police say in the next couple of weeks, a website will be set up to allow victims of the break-ins to recover their property.