Suspect surrenders to police after $800 taken from blind woman
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:04PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:27PM EDT
A suspect who allegedly stole $800 from a blind woman who offered her shelter surrendered to authorities Thursday afternoon, police say.
The arrest came hours after police released the suspect’s name along with surveillance photos and an old mug shot.
At around 4 p.m., Const. David Hopkinson confirmed the suspect surrendered to 51 Division in downtown Toronto.
The suspect was charged after a 49-year-old blind woman came forward to report her ordeal.
The victim told police she took a bus from Sudbury to Toronto, with the intent of staying in the city for several days to undergo medical treatment.
While aboard the bus, she met a woman who told her she had just gotten out of rehab and just buried a parent, and had nowhere to stay while in Toronto.
The victim invited the suspect to stay with her for the night on Monday night at the Comfort Inn at 66 Norfinch Drive in North York.
“She told me her mother passed away. I felt sorry for her. And then she was telling me she had no place to go,” the victim told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday.
“When the victim woke up at 5 a.m., she noticed that the $800 she had brought with her for hotel fees and bus rides and food and lodging was stolen,” Greenaway told reporters at a news conference Thursday morning. “This is a cowardly act; this is a person who took advantage of someone who has a disability and a great heart.”
The victim said that she called out the suspect’s name when she realized she’d been robbed, went to the front desk of the hotel and was told the suspect had just gotten into a cab and left.
The theft left the victim with only $100 she had hidden in her bra.
“That wasn’t nice. It was all money for my trip, my cab, my food, my ticket to go back,” the victim said on Tuesday, holding back tears.
A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the victim has so far more than tripled its goal of $1,000. After airing the story, dozens of viewers called and emailed CTV News Toronto and CP24 with offers to help.
Greenaway says a constable in his division, Amir Butt, offered to drive to the victim to and from her appointments.
“PC Butt went out of his way to assist a person who was in dire straits and really needed some special needs and I’m really proud that PC Butt stepped up to the plate to do the right thing for all of the right reasons.”
Police say the suspect will be charged with one count of theft under $5,000.
Hopkinson said she is expected to appear in court at College Park on Friday.