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‘Canada’s most wanted’ arrested hours after new Bolo Program campaign starts

Click to play video: 'Toronto homicide suspect atop Canada’s most wanted list arrested' Toronto homicide suspect atop Canada’s most wanted list arrested
WATCH: The top suspect on a list of Canada’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested. As Caryn Lieberman reports, it happened just hours after a significant reward was made public – Apr 27, 2022

A man marked number one on a list of “Canada’s most wanted” was arrested hours after the Bolo Program launched a new “top 25” campaign, officials say.

On Tuesday, the Bolo Program announced a top 25 list of “Canada’s most wanted” individuals, including several who are sought by the Toronto Police Service.

Of the 25 individuals on the list, 12 were listed as being wanted by the Toronto Police Service, including Abilaziz Mohamed, who was listed as the most wanted person.

Read more: Bolo Program announces list of ‘Canada’s most wanted,’ including several sought by Toronto police

Bolo, which stands for “be on the lookout,” is a program that amplifies wanted notices.

An “unprecedented” reward of up to $250,000 was being offered for information leading to Mohamed’s arrest.

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In a news release issued Wednesday morning, Toronto police said anonymous information was received Tuesday evening about Mohamed’s location.

“Yesterday, Abilaziz Mohamed was Bolo’s number one wanted suspect. Today, he is in Toronto Police Service custody charged with the murder of 43-year-old Craig MacDonald thanks to information provided by a member of the public,” Toronto police Chief James Ramer said in the release.

“We hope this provides a small amount of closure for the victim’s family. We work proudly and effectively with our Bolo partners and this successful arrest sends a clear message to those who continue to evade justice: you will be found.”

According to the Bolo Program website, emergency crews were called just after 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2021 to a Boston Pizza near Morningside and Milner avenues in Scarborough.

Read more: Family of Scarborough father shot to death says they never imagined he’d be victim of gun violence

MacDonald had been shot in the parking lot after an altercation inside the restaurant, according to Bolo.

“He was a hard-working man who had five children, two stepchildren, and a granddaughter,” the website said.

“MacDonald worked at Providence Health and was a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

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Craig’s Sister, Drema MacDonald, told Global News Craig was “just a really good guy and everyone loved him.”

“He just had this way about him with connecting with people. He had friends from all different ages, all different backgrounds. He was just a very welcoming person,” she said.

Drema said Craig went to the Boston Pizza after watching a Leafs game.

Craig MacDonald was shot in the parking lot of a Boston Pizza on Oct. 13, 2021. Bolo Program

“He wasnt there very long. Everything changed in 40 minutes that he was there,” she said.

“He crossed paths with this person and there was an altercation. They did, you know, go their separate ways. Unfortunately, the suspect came back from his car with a gun and shot Craig when Craig exited through the side door to have a cigarette.”

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Drema said Tuesday that she worked continuously over the past six months to make the public aware of Craig’s case and the fact that Mohamed was wanted.

“I can’t go anywhere without searching for him,” she said, adding that she has always been on the lookout.

She said that most of all, they want Craig back, but also to see an arrest made.

“It’s like salt in the wounds, in open wounds to have him still out there,” she said Tuesday.

“It’s just such an unsettling feeling and I just want him to pay for what he did.”

Officials said it was believed Mohamed was still in the Greater Toronto Area.

He has since been charged with first-degree murder and was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.

Click to play video: 'Family of Toronto gun violence victim: ‘It could happen to anyone’' Family of Toronto gun violence victim: ‘It could happen to anyone’
Family of Toronto gun violence victim: ‘It could happen to anyone’ – Oct 27, 2021

Drema spoke to Global News again after news of the arrest.

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“I’m so thankful for that program and how quickly this came about. I can’t believe how quickly this happened,” she said.

“Yesterday was intense because it finally felt like all the shouting that I’ve been doing for the last six months, finally people were listening….

“There is this immense relief that the hunt is over and that he’s behind bars and facing justice. But it’s not over. You know, it doesn’t bring Craig back and it’s not the end of our journey because this is going to make its way through the criminal justice system and there’s still a lot for us to face.”

The director of the Bolo Program, Maxime Langlois, also commented on the arrest in a statement sent to Global News.

“I want to thank citizens of the Greater Toronto Area for being on the lookout for Abilaziz Mohamed. This arrest not only makes communities of the GTA safer, it also allows the family of the victim to take their next step forward in this awful journey,” Langlois said.

“The message to all outstanding Bolo fugitives is the following: The entire country is on the lookout for you. Call a lawyer. Call the police. Make arrangements to turn yourself in.”

The allegations against Mohamed have not been proven in court.

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