Leaside pot shop scene of armed robbery
Robberies are on the rise throughout neighbourhoods in 53 Division, with a total of 110 recorded as of Oct. 16. The increase in criminal activity could be due, in part, to what the Toronto Police Service (TPS) has identified as a string of armed robberies at illegal dispensaries across the city. In many cases, police were forced to rely on witnesses to come forward as some owners chose not to report the crimes for fear of being raided by TPS.
On April 25, an illegal dispensary, Eden Medicinal Society at 1625 Bayview Ave. in Leaside, was the target of a violent robbery. According to police reports, three male suspects wearing disguises and armed with a handgun took physical control of the store. Pepper spray was sprayed into the faces of the employees and customers, and the suspects stole a quantity of marijuana and cash. On April 29, police arrested three male suspects, 19, 23 and 18 years of age. One was from Brampton, one from Mississauga and the other of no fixed address. The accused face several charges including robbery with a firearm, administering a noxious substance, possession of a weapon and disguise with intent. All three are due in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 6, 2018.
Earlier in the year on Feb. 15, around 9 p.m., police responded to a call about a holdup at the dispensary Canna Clinic, at 527 Eglinton Ave. W. near Chaplin Crescent, in Forest Hill. Constable Allyson Douglas-Cook, of the TPS, said witnesses saw six suspects enter the establishment — one of whom was carrying a firearm. According to police reports, the suspects left with a number of bags, and the owner and employees fled. No information was provided by the owner as to what was taken, and the investigation is still ongoing. All six suspects are still at large.
On Oct. 19, the Ontario Superior Court issued an injunction to close down all Canna Clinic dispensaries in Toronto.
The Canna Clinic dispensary boarded up after the robbery