Halton Regional Police may have a neighbour with a keen eye to thank for aiding in an break-and-enter investigation that has led to the arrests of two men and a woman, and the recovery of $100,000 in stolen property.
Police say the first incident took place on March 26 at a home on Bayshire Drive in Oakville, and according to a news release, a 'vigilant neighbour' took action.
"The first tip was a neighbour who actually saw an individual leaving a home with a number of bags and contacted police," said Det. Sgt. Paul Foley.
He said the information the witness provided and video surveillance footage was crucial in the investigation that resulted in the arrests of three suspects in connection with break and enters in Oakville, Richmond Hill and Markham.
Foley said police believe the accused carried out the alleged crimes by ringing the doorbell at a home and "if it appeared that no one was home then they were entering the home through a rear entry," he said.
On April 17, police arrested two men, one 28 and the other 47, in Toronto. Both are from Colombia.
They face several charges, including break and enter and possession of stolen property.
Police say they carried out a search warrant at a Toronto residence, where one of the accused was staying temporarily and recovered $100,000 in stolen property.
"We found high-end jewelry, watches, designer bags – our investigators are currently cataloguing all the recovered property." he said.
Then on April 20, police arrested a 47-year-old woman, also from Colombia, and charged her with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.
Jumping from one jurisdiction to another
The Halton police investigation includes the break and enters in Richmond Hill on April 4 and Markham on April 15, which are in York Region.
"These groups that are committing break and enters are often quite transient in nature and moving from jurisdiction to jurisdiction," said Const.Andy Pattenden with York Regional Police.
In a separate incident earlier this month, York Regional Police laid more than 150 charges and arrested eight people in connection with several break and enters.
"I can tell you that with more and more people getting residential home security systems that have video, it is making our jobs a little bit easier trying to track down who these individuals are," Pattenden said.
Halton police have already called the video evidence in their case exceptional.
Foley said Halton officers are working with the Canada Border Services Agency to learn more about the status of the three accused.
"I can tell you immigration warrants have been put out for these three individuals, so once this matter has been concluded in court, they will be extradited out of the country."