Four men have been charged after two people were bound and gagged during a violent armed home invasion in Vaughan, Ont., after a police helicopter captured the suspects escaping the scene on camera.
York Regional Police responded to a report of a break-and-enter at a house on Lavender Place, in the Ansley Grove Road and Blue Willow Drive area, just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Police found two victims inside the house and a helicopter was quickly mobilized to the scene where officers onboard spotted four men running from the back of the home.
Frontline officers and a police canine unit helped locate the suspects with the assistance of the helicopter and arrested them at the scene. The suspects were wearing dark clothing and were hard to see, but were clearly visible on the helicopter camera.
Police said one of the suspects was carrying a loaded .40-calibre Glock handgun at the time of his arrest. An unknown quantity of jewelry was allegedly stolen in the incident but police said it was recovered after the arrests.
The victims were tied up and sustained minor injuries in the break-in and police said they were targeted.
Const. Andy Pattenden declined to comment on whether the suspects were known to police or why the house was targeted.
“These arrests are an excellent example of teamwork,” Chief Eric Jolliffe said in a release. “Their efforts have removed four dangerous people from our community and taken a loaded firearm off of our streets.”
Akil Abou-Bekoe, 31, of Montreal, Pasquale Leone, 30, of King Township, Terry O’del Sinclair, 33, of Markham, and Jermaine White, 35, of no fixed address face the following charges:
- Robbery with a firearm
- Forcible confinement
- Using a firearm while committing an offence
- Unauthorized possession of a firearm
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Disguise with intent
All of the suspects are scheduled to appear in a Newmarket, Ont. court Wednesday for a bail hearing.
Police said the investigation is ongoing and any witnesses or people with video surveillance of the area are encouraged to contact the York Regional Police Hold-Up Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6630 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).