York Regional Police say 12 minors are facing several charges after a string of “swarming-style” robberies in Vaughan.
As part of “Operation Beehave,” police said officers had responded to a high volume of these types of robberies in the Jane Street and Norwood Avenue area, including Canada’s Wonderland, as well as nearby sidewalks and plazas.
The robberies occurred during the month of June and police said in all of the incidents the victims reported being “swarmed and robbed by a large group of young people in the evening hours.”
Police arrested and charged 12 youths with several offences including robbery, mischief and causing a disturbance.
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They said many of the suspects and victims were teenagers. Police also said they expect more arrests as the investigation continues.
Operation Beehave was launched over Canada Day long weekend with an increase in proactive patrol and officer presence. Police said the efforts have been “effective” with no reported swarmings since the start of the operation.
Police said the operation will continue throughout the summer.
The force is also encouraging parents to speak to their children about personal safety when unsupervised, as well as consequences such as criminal charges should they be involved in a swarming.
Any other victims who have not yet spoken to police are asked to come forward, as well as anyone with information or tips.