May 17, 2019 4:39 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 4:46 pm

Suspects with ties to South America arrested after a residential break-in, shoplifting spree in the GTA

Stolen merchandise recovered by Halton police in a GTA crime spree. Investigators are working to return the items to their rightful owners.

Halton Police Service

A joint task force made up of police services around the GTA have arrested seven men involved in a residential break-in and shoplifting crime spree across the GTA.

The suspects involved are believed to be tied to a South American theft group with connections across Ontario, Quebec, Chile, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

Halton police say the investigation kicked off in early May when Montreal Police tipped them off about a group of men committing residential break and enters in five GTA cities: Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown, and Pickering.

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During the investigation, police say men from the group entered the Tommy Hilfiger store at Toronto Premium Outlet Mall in Halton Hills on the evening of May 14 and left 15 minutes later with several reusable shopping bags containing merchandise. It was later determined that the men took about $1,300 worth of product from the shop.

The next day police followed two males to a residence in Pickering, where the suspects were seen breaking into the home. The men were arrested a short time later with property believed to have been stolen from the residence.

Police arrested five other suspects later on May 15 after executing two search warrants in North York and in Mississauga.

Investigators believe approximately $150,000 worth of jewelry, watches, perfume/cologne, and designer clothing were recovered in the bust.

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Halton Police say they have reached out to the Montreal Police Service, York Regional Police Service, and the Canada Border Services Agency in an effort to determine what other crimes this group may have committed during the spree.

“The results from this investigation demonstrate the effectiveness of police collaborating with their partners, including police from neighbouring provinces, in order to reduce the risk factors that affect community safety,” Halton Det. Sgt. Paul Foley said.

The seven men include three men from Vaughan in their 20s, one from Richmond Hill, one from Laval, another from the Dominican Republic and one of no fixed address.

Anyone with information can contact Halton police at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2217 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)

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