TORONTO — Peel police are appealing to the public for help identifying suspects after a violent Brampton home invasion around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Mohammad Zia, the owner of the Sony Jewellers store in Mississauga was returning home with his father near Fontainebleu Road and Louvain Drive. They found three attackers waiting for them inside the house.
“They know what I do, where I’m living, who’s working in the store, how many people work in the store. They know everything. They were well-planned,” said Zia.
His mother and nine-year-old son were already bound and gagged upstairs before Zia and his father returned home.
Police said the attackers demanded the key to the jewelry store, along with codes for the alarm system and the safe. When the two men refused, they were bound with zip ties, gagged with duct tape, and beaten at gunpoint for half an hour.
Zia’s wife and two daughters were not home at the time, but arrived during the attack. They too were handcuffed, gagged, and beaten before being separated by their attackers.
The store owner managed to escape. Still handcuffed and gagged, he knocked on his neighbours’ doors for help.
WATCH: The victims of a violent home invasion were targeted for security codes for a jewellery store. Candace Daniel reports.
He finally found an unlocked door. Residents there helped him call the police, but all three suspects escaped before police arrived.
Part of a growing trend
According to Khalid Qummar, president of the South Asian Jewellers Association, this is not the first time members of his community have been the victim of an armed robbery. He said this type of incident has happened four times in the last month.
“We have many times [been the] target by the same people … our kids are not safe. We don’t feel safe in the houses,” he said.
Qummar said store owners have even alerted their alarm companies to be on the lookout for stores that are open after regular work hours.
“After hours, if the jewelry store is open, then it means someone has kidnapped us to go there, and they are pushing us to open the store because they want to steal our gold, diamonds,” said Qummar.
Both Zia and his father were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Investigators from the Central Robbery Bureau are asking anyone with information to call Peel police or Peel Crime Stoppers.
With files from Candace Daniel
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