Halton police say they have arrested a suspect who allegedly engaged in “displaying hate-motivated images” around the city of Burlington in May.
Police have not yet released the name of the man apprehended but said he is believed to be the suspect depicted in a series of security camera photos released in June. That person was described as between 18 to 25 years of age and of average build. He was seen in the photos wearing an Under Armour jacket and a grey T-shirt and carrying a grey, orange and black Adidas backpack.
“Police have received numerous tips that have led to the positive identification of a Burlington resident as Person of Interest No. 1,” Halton police said in a release on Tuesday. “He has since been arrested and released at this time. Formal charges are pending further investigation, which is active and ongoing.”
Const. Steve Elms told Global News that Halton police are still looking to identify one other suspect pictured in another security camera image, which showed two suspects with covered faces wearing ballcaps, backpacks and jeans.
“Still investigating and looking for Person of Interest No. 2, ” Elms said. “We are looking for the taller of the two (the one on the right).”
Police say the men in question are believed to have posted hate-motivated notes, posters, messages and propaganda in six different locations in Burlington beginning around late May.
According to police, the first known hate-crime incident happened on May 21 near Dundas Street and Guelph Line, where a racist note was reportedly left on a private vehicle, while the second happened two days later, when an anti-Semitic poster was put on a traffic post, police say.
The other incidents include hate propaganda allegedly placed on cars in a church parking lot near Mainway and Walkers Line as well as an anti-Semitic message that was reportedly written on a vehicle and anti-Semitic imagery posted on doors of the Burlington Art Gallery and Burlington City Hall, police say.
“Hate crime has no place in any community, and I am confident that the persons responsible behind these ignorant, cowardly and hateful acts will be quickly identified with the public’s assistance,” said Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah.
“No one has the right to make another person feel fearful because of the colour of their skin, race, religion, ethnic origin or any other factor. The Halton Regional Police Service is committed to fully investigating these crimes and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.”
Halton police are asking the public to come forward with any information that would help in their investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 905-825-4777 ext. 2315, ext. 2316 or ext. 2310.
—With files from Gabby Rodrigues