Ac­cused worked for alarm com­pany

Jew­eller says man duped him in to open­ing store’s door, then forced him to shut alarm

Montreal Gazette - - Montreal - PAUL CHERRY GAZETTE CRIME RE­PORTER pcherry@ mon­tre­al­gazette.com

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.

MON­TREAL PO­LICE

Do­minik An­geli-Grou has been ar­rested for home in­va­sions in Notre-Dame-deGrâce and Laval.

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