A Toronto police investigation into a string of armed robberies in the Beach is ongoing after four teenaged suspects facing multiple charges related to two robberies were arrested this month.
Toronto police say they responded to calls about two alleged robberies on Friday, Nov. 10, before making three arrests that same night and another on Nov. 15 after executing a search warrant.
Police say four teenagers were walking through Ivan Forrest Gardens at 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 10 when they were allegedly robbed at knifepoint by four boys.
At 9:50 p.m. another alleged armed robbery of a teenaged group took place near Queen Street East and Wheeler Avenue. Three suspects were arrested in the same area about 30 minutes later, say police.
A 15-year old boy was charged with robbery with offensive weapon, two counts of robbery, possession of a weapon, two counts of carry a concealed weapon, disguise with intent, and two counts of fail to comply with recognizance.
Two 16-year-old boys were charged with robbery with offensive weapon, two counts of robbery, possession of a weapon, and two counts of carry concealed weapon.
All three were scheduled to appear at the courthouse at 311 Jarvis St. on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. in room one.
Police subsequently executed a search warrant on Nov. 15 in the area of Pine Crescent and Glen Manor Drive and a fourth boy, 16, was arrested and charged with robbery with an offensive weapon, robbery, possession of a weapon, disguise with intent, and possession of property obtained by crime.
A court date has been scheduled for 311 Jarvis St. on Nov. 22 at 10 a.m.
Toronto police Const. Jennifer Sidhu said police have responded recently to numerous calls about armed robberies in the area of Queen Street East from Waverly Avenue to Glenmore.
It is not yet clear whether these are connected to six calls Toronto police received between Oct. 5 and 24, but Sidhu suggested investigators were looking into the possibility.
“They’ve (police) not linked it, but it’s the same [robbery] method, and that’ll be something that through more investigation they may be able to lay more charges,” she said.
At least two of four suspects wanted in connection with the October robberies were 15 years old, whereas only one of the suspects in the most recent series of arrests was 15, meaning even if the crimes are all connected, one or more of the current suspects was not previously wanted, Sidhu confirmed.
Area residents should “most definitely” exercise caution walking through parks after dark, Sidhu said. “If you see something suspicious or something doesn’t feel right, immediately take yourself to a well lit area,” Sidhu advised.
Sidhu recommended avoiding walking through Beach area parks altogether as it gets dark earlier. “Take the longer route to get to where you are going. It is still an ongoing investigation, so always err on the side of caution, if possible,” she said.
If you suspect you are being followed or watched, Sidhu said to “take a good look at that person” because then “they know that you can easily identify them, and that might actually stop what their intent is.”
Anyone with information can call Toronto Police at (416) 808-5500 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously by calling (416) 222-8477, texting 274637, or visiting www.222tips.com.