How safe the Annex?
Someone is targeting high-end homes in Forest Hill, and police are at a loss for who the suspect or suspects may be.
Police constable Timothy Somers of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) 53 Division said there have been five break and enters near Eglinton Avenue West and Spadina Road since early October — that investigators believe are related.
According to Somers, police have not ruled out one of the most prolific break-and-enter artists in Toronto’s history, Shane Gagnon, who was charged with 31 break and enters in 2014 as a result of an investigation dubbed Project Spiderman. Gagnon’s modus operandi was similar to the recent break-ins as he was known to gain entry to each home through the roof to steal expensive jewellery.
“We’re not ruling him out, but we’re not saying it’s him either,” said Somers, who noted Gagnon has been released since he was charged in 2014. “We’re considering everything right now.”
The break and enters occurred on Oct. 11, 12, 13, 14 and 17, sometime in the evening. In most cases the culprit was able to gain entry through a second-floor window to steal watches and jewellery of high value. On two occasions, a ladder was left out nearby, and it was used to access the second floor. However, on Oct. 17, the culprit was able to enter the home through the main floor.
A TPS report notes that whoever is responsible isn’t shy. On at least one occasion, the thief or thieves were emboldened to steal from a residence while the owners were inside.
According to Somers, police are waiting on surveillance footage and hope to release photos of the suspect or suspects shortly. In the meantime, TPS has cautioned the public to lock windows and doors, remove any ladders from plain sight and report all suspicious activity.
There have been 373 break and enters throughout Midtown neighbourhoods in 53 Division as of Oct. 16 this year.
Five high-end homes were targeted in Forest Hill