Toronto police have charged one suspect and are searching for a second in connection with four retail store robberies where knives were used to intimidate the victims.
Investigators said two men targeted three stores in Toronto’s west end and one store in Peel region.
The first reported incident happened on May 14 when the suspects reportedly entered a smoke shop in the Bloor Street West and Prince Edward Drive area.
Their faces were concealed by masks when one man reportedly pointed a knife at people inside the store and forced them away from the counter. The second man was given the knife and kept control of the victims, while the first man stole cash and property, according to Toronto police.
On May 24, police said a man entered an adult toy store in the Dundas Street East and Dixie Road area in Mississauga.
The suspect was reportedly wearing an alien-style mask and displayed a butcher knife while confronting a person and demanding cash. An amount of cash and other property was stolen.
Police said the third robbery targeted a kitchen store in the Martin Grove Road and Burnhamthorpe Road area when the suspect approached a customer and displayed a butcher knife to obtain money from a woman.
The suspect reportedly held onto the customer’s wrist, then pointed the knife towards the store owner and made a second demand for money. A second male was standing watch in the doorway and stopped a customer from entering during the robbery, police said.
It is further alleged the suspect, armed with a knife, entered a convenience store in the Bloor Street West and Mill Road area in the fourth robbery incident on Friday.
The man is alleged to have of covered the lower part of his face with a T-shirt and gone behind the counter to remove a quantity of cigarettes. The stolen goods were reportedly put in a plastic bag the suspect brought with him before he fled.
A suspect was located and arrested following the fourth retail robbery by officers with Toronto’s 22 Division.
Hatim Abdullahi, 20, of Mississauga, was charged with four counts of robbery using an offensive weapon, four counts of disguise with intent, four counts of possession of a weapon and possession of property obtained by crime.
Abdullahi appeared in a Toronto court on Saturday morning.
Toronto police are still searching for a second suspect in connection with the crimes, who is described as 18- to 20-years-old and about 5’7″ to 5’10” tall.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7350 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).