Accused worked for alarm company
Jeweller says man duped him in to opening store’s door, then forced him to shut alarm
A judge has begun hearing evidence in the trial of a man charged with carrying out two home invasions using information he allegedly obtained while working for an alarm company.
Dominik Angeli-Grou, 26, the son of a Montreal police detective, was arrested last year following a home invasion in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on March 16, 2011, where an armed man forced a jeweller, at gunpoint, to try to disable the alarms at his store in Westmount.
At the time, Angeli-Grou was already under investigation for a similar home invasion in Laval and had worked for Sentinel Alarm. A representative from the alarm company helped the Montreal police make the connection to the home invasion in Laval because the company was aware one of their employees was under investigation for the earlier crime.
Angeli-Grou is only being tried at the Montreal courthouse for the home invasion in N.D.G. He has another case pending in Laval.
The accused appeared to listen intently as the jeweller, 52, and his 23-year-old son testified Monday morning about the ordeal they and the jeweller’s girlfriend went through last year.
The jeweller said AngeliGrou duped him into opening his front door after 9:30 p.m. by posing as a neighbour collecting signatures for a petition to improve a crosswalk so his niece could get to school safely. The jeweller said Angeli-Grou was well dressed and, after signing the phony petition, the man at his door asked if he could use a phone to call his niece because, he lied, they had been separated while gathering signatures.
“I got my girlfriend’s phone and when I turned around there was a gun in my face,” the jeweller said, adding he noticed right away the firearm was a revolver. “I couldn’t imagine what he wanted from us.”
The jeweller said it didn’t take long for Angeli-Grou to state that he wanted him to call Sentinel Alarm and ask them to turn off the alarm at his store in Westmount. He said Angeli-Grou ordered him to tell the company that work had to be done inside the store off-hours. He said at one point Angeli-Grou asked him for his password. The jeweller said he gave the gunman “some random number” but Angeli-Grou knew right away that it was bogus.
“He said ‘okay, that’s very nice. But when you call Sentinel don’t f--k around and give them the real number,’” the jeweller said of the moment he realized AngeliGrou appeared to know what he was doing.
The jeweller’s girlfriend and his son were ordered into the basement of the home in N.D.G. while the gunman bound them together, back to back, with duct tape. He also bound their hands with tie wrap fasteners. The son said Angeli-Grou agreed to remove the first tie-wrap he had placed on his hands because it was too tight. The son said Angeli-Grou pulled out a hunting knife, cut the tie wrap and replaced it with another. In doing so he left a slight cut on the young man’s hands.
The jeweller had called Sentinel Alarm to quiet the alarm system at his store but, he added, he had to inform Angeli-Grou that a second alarm system was handled by another company and his brother, a partner in the business, had the passwords. The jeweller said Angeli-Grou ordered him to call the second company anyway and asked that their alarm be shut off as well. The jeweller said he followed the orders but had no idea if the second alarm company would have complied without being given the codes.
The jeweller also testified that during a moment when Angeli-Grou was distracted, he managed to slip his BlackBerry into his son’s pocket. When Angeli-Grou and the jeweller left to go to the jewelry store, the son managed to free himself using a trick he learned while serving in the military in Israel.
When asked if freeing himself from tie-wraps was part of his military training, the young man shrugged and said it was something he and his fellow troops tried one night while bored.
“It was just something dumb that we did,” he said. After freeing himself and his father’s girlfriend, the son called the police and informed them of AngeliGrou’s plans to rob the jewelry store. The jeweller said that as he drove with AngeliGrou toward the store, the latter panicked when he saw a patrol car parked in front of the store.
The jeweller said AngeliGrou quickly changed plans and ordered him to drive to a bank machine where he could withdraw money. He testified that while AngeliGrou held a gun to his side, he agreed to withdraw as much as he could, which turned out to be $1,100.
Minutes later AngeliGrou used tie-wraps to bind the jeweller to his steering wheel and headed off. But before he did, the jeweller said, Angeli-Grou shook his hand and said: “If and when I get caught for this, please tell them I didn’t want to hurt your son.”
The trial being heard by Quebec Court Judge Louis Legault is expected to continue for about five more days.
Dominik Angeli-Grou has been arrested for home invasions in Notre-Dame-deGrâce and Laval.