Arrests made after rash of B&Es in York Mills area
Break and enters are on the rise in 32 Division with 557 accounts recorded as of Oct. 16 this year, compared to the 439 recorded for all of 2016.
This past June, residents of the Bayview Avenue and York Mills Road area installed “Neighborhood Watch” signs after noticing a series of break and enters in their neighbourhood. Members of the Bayview York Mills Chinese Community (BYMCC) formed the group to allow for easier communication with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) when reporting suspicious activity.
According to Xiong Deng, cofounder of the BYMCC, the community saw five break-ins in one week before the signs were put up. The community also stays in close contact through a group chat on the app WeChat.
“The signs help for sure. We all try to report things to the police department and have them check on the area regularly,” Deng said. “We try to put into our social media and in our group and tell them to keep lights on and keep grass cut and that kind of thing.”
Detective Scott Moore with 33 Division said a number of suspects have been arrested in connection with the area break-ins. “We did arrest a number of people in relation to those entries. York Region had conducted an investigation, and we were working with them, so they arrested people that turned out to be the suspects in our break and enters,” he said.
Some of the break-ins have occurred in the Chinese community, but Moore said he doesn’t believe that the victims were specifically targeted because of their race.
“Obviously some of the residences that were broken into did belong to members of the Chinese community, but I don’t know if they were specifically targeted,” he said. “I think it just happened to be the general area that these guys were working in because not everybody that was a victim of a break and enter was from a Chinese community.”
Xiong Deng with a Neighborhood Watch sign