A suspect on an attempted murder charge has been found deceased

By Staff

September 21st, 2021



The Halton Regional police were looking for David Lavoie (37) of Hamilton as a wanted in connection with a shooting in City of Burlington on September 9, 2021.

Lavoie was found deceased on the evening of Monday September 20, 2021, in Burlington.

Police are not searching for any suspects related to his death and it is not deemed suspicious.

Lavoie was wanted for the charge of Attempt Murder.

The shooting took place at a residence in the area of Maple Crossing Boulevard shortly after 6 pm on September 9, 2021. One victim was transported to hospital and is currently in stable condition.

The police confirmed that the victim and the suspect are known to one another.

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Police Identify Suspect Wanted in Burlington Shooting

By Staff

September 10th, 2021



The Halton Regional Police today issued a photograph identifying a suspect wanted in a shooting in the City of Burlington on September 9, 2021.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of David Ryan Lavoie (37) of Hamilton.  He is wanted for the charge of Attempt Murder.

David Ryan Lavoie – suspect in an attempted murder.

David Lavoie is a white male, and bald with a short, stubbly beard. He is 5’10” tall with a muscular build. He was last seen wearing a black shirt (possibly a tank top) and grey pants.

If you see David Lavoie, DO NOT APPROACH, and call police immediately.

The shooting took place at a residence in the area of Maple Crossing Boulevard shortly after 6 pm on September 9, 2021. One victim was transported to hospital and is currently in stable condition. We can confirm that the victim and the suspect are known to one another.

Residents can continue to expect a police presence in the area  while they hold the scene for the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this incident who has not already spoken with police is asked to contact the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2316.

Anyone with surveillance or dash cam footage in the area of Maple Crossing Boulevard and Maple Avenue between the hours of 5:30 – 7:30 pm on September 9th is also asked to contact police.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.



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New police SUV recognizes the Black Community

By Staff

August 28th, 2021



Pride is breaking out everywhere; this time it is within the Black community that took part in the presentation of a police SUV that was decorated with images that came from the community.

The Regional Police have decorated another SUV – those colours are certainly West Indian.

Earlier today the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Black Internal Support Network and community partners gathered at Police Headquarters to unveil the HRPS Black Heritage Police Cruiser.

Colours just burst from the cruiser.

The cruiser design was conceived by the Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary School’s Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (iDARE) Committee, comprised of Bonnie Wiltshire, Valerie Nelson, Sokomba Effiong, Gabriella Ball, Margaret Keats, Andrea Domenico, Jane Thomas, and Amos Olujide. The group submitted the design as part of a design contest held in February 2021.

“This design concept seeks to lay a foundation for healing and a path forward for the Black Halton community and the HRPS working together with a common understanding and a common purpose,” says Bonnie Wiltshire, Chair of the iDARE Committee, the winning design team.

“The intertwined ribbon design on the cruiser weaves the narrative of enslavement of Black Peoples in North America to the resilience as they fled to safety, whose stories became footprints of success on the landscapes of both Halton and Canada. The words inscribed along the ribbon are just merely some of the ways the Black community in Halton and Canada have contributed to the very fabric of these communities and paved the way for others,” adds Wiltshire. “Further, the ribbon is symbolic of the strong threads that bind the Black community and their allies together as we create new paths to success and strengthen our community as a whole. The ribbon is composed of the colours that represent both Black History Month 2021 and the HRPS to further emphasize those symbolic connections.”

The cruiser also features a quote from Jean Augustine that resonated with the design team for its overarching message about the celebration of Black history. The quote reads, “Black History is not just for Black People. Black History is Canadian History.”
The vision for the HRPS Black Heritage Police Cruiser was created by members of the HRPS Black Internal Support Network and funded by African and Caribbean organizations, who have graciously provided a one-time $2,500 academic scholarship to the winning design team.

The iDARE Committee has presented St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School graduates, Vanessa Broomfield-Bryce and Alisa Robinson, a Queen of Heaven High School Graduate Scholarship in the amount of $1250 each, with the funds from the contest. The two students will use this to help support their post-secondary studies.

The HRPS would like to thank the following community partners for their support:

• African Caribbean Council of Halton
• Black Mentorship Inc.
• Burlington Caribbean Connection
• Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton
• Caribbean and African Coalition of Canada
• Halton Black History Awareness Society
• Halton Regional Police Association
• I am. I can. I will.

These partnerships represent relationships both new and old for the HRPS, and we are eager for the opportunity to learn from their lived experience, not only through this initiative but also through future endeavours.

“I am so proud  says

Jean Augustine – first African Canadian Women to be elected to the House of Commons.

Dr. Jean Augustine, the first African-Canadian to be elected a Member of Parliament, who paved the way for Black History Month in Canada was proud   to “participate in the unveiling of the HRPS Black Heritage Cruiser where the message is around who we are as a community,”

“From police services, to community groups and educators, this work around diversity and inclusion is an important message for people to see. Black history is Canadian history and we all need to recognize that.”

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Not sure what Emily Brown will do for Burlington unless it comes to a shootout somewhere then she is the obvious choice

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 26th, 2021



Emily Brown is running a unique platform as the first Burlington candidate to bring gun rights and crime to the forefront of her concerns.

Brown has been unable to make the time to speak to the Gazette; we will be profiling the candidate and her campaign as comprehensively as we can with the resources available until we have the opportunity to actually interview the candidate.

As the Conservative candidate for Burlington she has appeared on conservative-centric youth shows and repeatedly hit out at the Trudeau administration for failing to be tough on crime and “attacking” law-abiding gun owners.

Emily Brown has won awards at numerous levels – a respected member of the gun community.

Brown, a long-time sport shooter, sits on the Board of the Ontario Provincial Sharpshooting Association, the Ontario Council of Shooters, the Canadian Trapshooting Association, as well as the Canadian University Shooting Federation, and has been endorsed by the National Firearms Associations as an advocate for the gun owning community.

Brown has lived in Burlington for the eight years and teaches mathematics at the Pilon school where her focus is on Business Math, Business Calculus and algebra.

In Twitter exchanges, Brown claimed “she is the gun lobby” and unequivocally stated gun control does not impact criminals.
“I have been a sport shooter for over 47 years. I AM the gun lobby. I know how ineffective gun control, bans, more legislation will be. Stand down.” Brown tweeted in a dispute on November 13th, 2020.

“The Liberal government and particularly this ‘public safety’ Minister have left Canadians unsafe in their homes and communities. Gun control does NOT impact criminals. Time to get tough on crime!” Brown tweeted on December 16th, 2020.

The Halton Regional Police Service announced recently that Halton region has maintained its position of having the lowest Crime Severity Index (CSI) of all Canadian municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more.

Brown stands with Conservative leader Erin O’Toole on repealing Bill C-21 and the OIC firearm bans, both have been bashed as punishing law-abiding gun owners by the Conservative representatives.

O’Toole objected to Trudeau’s proposed gun legislation as an attack on the rights and freedoms of Canadians saying it was a fact that the legislation would not save a single life. O’Toole proposed steering the conversation around guns to those illegally purchased and used this as an example of Trudeau being divisive, Brown has done the same.

Dismissing any effectiveness of gun owner legislation Brown instead has raised concerns about 3D printed firearms and firearms smuggled across the border. While Canadians share Brown’s concerns about smuggling most don’t have qualms with the banning of “assault-style weapons,”( a term O’Toole dismissed as “misleading” and “loaded,” but the one used for the available polling data) in a Global News poll from 2020. 9% of Canadians disagreed with the ban and an equal number strongly disagreed with the ban while over half strongly agreed with the ban and a total of about 80% agreed with the ban on some level.

Passionate about guns, Brown describes herself as the gun lobbyist in Ontario

Brown is passionate about gun owner rights but it remains to be seen how interested voters will be in this as a primary concern of their potential representative.

Brown speaks as well to a rise of crime in Burlington as well as human trafficking, calling it “rampant.”

“Human trafficking is rampant in Burlington, and happens right under citizens’ noses. I will be addressing it as the federal Conservative candidate here, and am happy to see your focus on it too. Conservatives at work for Canadians!” tweeted Brown on May 20, 2021.

The question of how important Burlington citizens see Brown’s focus on guns will likely extend to her safety concerns for the city. In a city often ranked among Canada’s safest citizens surely want to keep it that way but may have trouble identifying with Brown’s concerns, crime is increasing in Burlington at a moderate level.   The Halton Regional Police Service achieved an all-time high Weighted Clearance Rate of 56.41 per cent. This score is tops among Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services.

Brown’s claims about rampant child trafficking in Burlington could not be verified.

Brown wants to restore Canada’s international reputation.

Brown says she decided to run because she is really concerned about the state of Canada.

Among her other biggest issues are the economy on which she has reiterated O’Toole’s party message to balance the budget within ten years and championed the need for well-paying and reliable jobs for Canadians while supporting small businesses. Brown says when people earn good money they will be willing to spend which promotes activity and growth in the economy.

Divisiveness is a key concern, Brown says this is because she has friends who talk about separation as an option.

Brown also wants to restore Canada’s international reputation. She has hit out at Canada taking vaccines from third world countries through COVAX, a program in which her Burlington opponent, Liberal representative and Minister for International Development, Karina Gould is directly involved.

Emily Brown is a professor of Mathematics at the Pilon School of Business, Sheridan College, and obtained her Master’s degree in Calgary.

We hope to speak with the candidate soon and hear her expand on her platform so we can provide a more comprehensive picture.

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Police taking their notes electronically - second service in Canada to do it this way.

By Staff

August 25th, 2021



The HRPS is the first police agency in Ontario, and only the second in Canada, to transition their members from traditional paper-based notes to electronic notes.

The days of hand written notes for Halton Regional Police are coming to an end. And yes – we know the police officer is American – haven’t been able to find a local police officer we can connect with.

Note-taking in the policing sector has not evolved in over 100 years, and we are proud to be adopting technology that the newest generation of officers expect and want,” says Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie.  “This is just one of the latest ways the HRPS is striving to optimize effectiveness and efficiency by purposefully harnessing innovative technology.”

Approximately one-third of HRPS sworn members have already received extensive training and successfully transitioned to eNotes using the Smart Squad application by Faction Four Systems Inc on Service-issued cellphones. All sworn members will be fully trained by early 2022.

The HRPS eNotes application has been customized and optimized to contain features that the Service recognizes as key to policing operations. As a result, it provides unparalleled efficiencies to officers on patrol. Officers are now more mobile, no longer constrained by limitations of paper notes or tied to the computer in their cruisers. Officers can now access and add to police databases and record systems from anywhere. Further, eNotes equips officers with a secure means to obtain audio statements and take supplementary photos or recordings. All of these new functions are bolstered by heightened transparency and credibility to officer notes, with time-stamped entries and increased legibility.

It will be interesting to see how this works out when a police officer has to take the stand to testify – will his (or her)  enotes be shown on a large computer screen where anyone in the court room can read them.


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Why a publication ban related to the biggest drug bust every done in the Region?

By Staff

August 22, 2015



Halton Regional Police reported the largest drug bust in their history earlier this

The police reported on the number of raids they made and called the joint police force Project Icarus.

More than a dozen arrests were made and all kinds of evidence gathered.

There was a lot of evidence on display.

The Gazette sent a reporter out to gather details at the media event the police held and published a report.

The following day the police contacted the Gazette and asked (instructed) us to remove one of the names from the list of those arrested explaining that the person was subject to 517 publication ban.

We responded asking: What is a 517 publication ban ?

Regional Police Inspector Constantini did most of the explaining on the details of the police raids.

The police responded with:
A section 517 publication ban is a temporary ban which extends until the accused is discharged after the preliminary inquiry or the trial is completed, subject to any other court orders.

The purpose of the ban is to preserve the rights of the defendant to a fair trial, and the presumption of innocence. Further, the ban prevents public dissemination of information or evidence so that jurors make their decisions based only on admissible evidence presented during the trial. It is also intended to maintain the integrity of the evidence of any potential witness who may be called to testify in the case.

Members of the public and media are permitted to view and photocopy court files covered by a section 517 publication ban but, again, details covered by the ban cannot be published in any document, or broadcast or transmitted in any way until the ban ends.

All publication bans are noted in the court record. The Information or charging document (in the Ontario Court of Justice) or Indictment (in the Superior Court of Justice) is endorsed with “PUBLICATION BAN” and the appropriate section number of the Criminal Code is noted. Ministry staff are instructed to inform members of the public and the media wishing to have access to the court record that the matter is subject to a publication ban.

This should be an interesting trial when it takes place.

Related news story:

Biggest drug bust in Regional Police history.

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Biggest drug haul in the history of the Region - valued at $5 million

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 18TH, 2021



The biggest drug bust the Regional Police have ever handled resulted in a $5 million dollar haul and 12 arrests.
It all started with a single tip of one individual and grew to involve police from Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, London, Mississauga , Toronto, Markham, Woodbridge, Caledon and Etobicoke.

Code named Project Icarus, after the sun god from Greek mythology, the investigation took place over a 10-month period starting in October 2020 and resulted in what the Halton police are calling the largest drug seizure in Halton Regional Police history.

The size of the drugs, weapons, and cash haul

“I’m extremely proud of the work done by all officers involved. Our members continue to demonstrate that if you choose to participate in organized crime in our region threatening safety of our community, we will aggressively target you and arrest you,” said Deputy Chief Hill.

Halton regional police service investigators executed warrants at 14 residential locations and 2 business locations all around the GTA on July 21, July 29th and August 12th resulting in 12 arrests and dozens of kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy, other Illicit substances, weapons and vehicles being seized.

A gun with bags of bullets – not toys.

“Though hard work and collaboration our dedicated officers turned a small investigation of a single suspect into a significant project. Project Icarus has removed drugs, guns and criminals from the streets of not just Halton but the entire GTA,” said Halton regional police service Deputy Chief Jeff Hill.

Several drugs, weapons were seized which include:

• 27 kilograms of cocaine.
• 15 kilograms of ecstasy.
• Over 1000 kilograms of cannabis.
• One .40 caliber Glock handgun.
• One 9mm Glock handgun.
• Prohibited magazines.
• One 12-gauge shotgun and 1,100 rounds of ammunition.
• More than $100,000 in currency, jewelry and motor vehicles
• Illicit opioids (0.5 kg fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine)

Police say the amount of drugs seized add up to an estimated street value of over $5 million.

Inspector Dave Constantini

“I think it doesn’t just impact our region I think it impacts GTA wide,” said Inspector Dave Constantini.

The following people have been arrested and charged:

Cash and a counting machine

• James Ferrier (27) of Toronto
• Terrance Hancock (45) of London
• John Byard (40) of Mississauga
• Trevor Harwood (42) of Etobicoke
• Jile Cai (34) of Etobicoke
• Anthony Mason (39) of Hamilton
• Brian Aguiar (32) of Burlington
• Ana Antunes (30) of Burlington
• Crystal Giang (30) of North York
• Thanh Ma (31) of Newmarket

All accused are facing various drug, firearm and cannabis offences.

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Relay and Reprogramming - the thieves appear to have the upper hand - and your vehicle in it

By Staff

August 17th, 2021



In 2021, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) reported a significant increase in both relay and re-programming thefts of high-end vehicles with keyless entry and push-start technology.

Since January 2021, there have been a total of 52 vehicles stolen from Milton and Halton Hills (Oakville and Burlington will get targeted soon enough) that have been attributed to the use of relay or reprogramming technology.

In the majority of these thefts, the vehicles are being stolen from residents’ driveways during the overnight hours, with most thefts typically taking less than one minute.

Stunning just ho much technology the thieves have access to – they get it online, pay a hefty price and see that price as a good investment.

What is a relay theft?
Thieves will use technology called a “relay device” to find a key fob signal from inside a residence. The thieves do not need to enter the residence in order to find the signal.

The signal is then amplified which allows the thieves to unlock, start and steal the vehicle. The vehicle owner discovers their vehicle has been stolen, even though they are in possession of their key fob.

What is a reprogramming theft?
Thieves will first gain entry to the vehicle by mechanical means (breaking in by using a tool). They will then access the vehicle’s diagnostic port and reprogram a blank key fob which allows them to start and steal the vehicle.

The HRPS is applying significant resources to investigate these occurrences. In spite of recent arrests, it is important that the community be aware of this trend and takes preventative steps to ensure their property remains secure from theft.

Special attention should be given by those members of the community who own the specific vehicles described here as they are most commonly being targeted for theft.

These carts once stolen leave the country in days – look for them in the war torn countries of the Middle East. The terrorists love the SUV’s and the pickup trucks.

What types of vehicles are being targeted?
While many different makes and models of high-end vehicles are being targeted, over 55% of these thefts involve Lexus RX350, Toyota SUV and Honda CR-V models.

What can residents do to protect themselves from these types of thefts?
There are measures that residents can take to mitigate the risk of having their vehicle(s) stolen:

• Park your vehicle in a locked and secured garage
• Install an on-board diagnostic blocker
• Install a steering wheel lock device
• Combine the above measures with an aftermarket GPS tracking device
• Place vehicle key fob inside a radio frequency shielding bag when not in use
• Lock your vehicle at all times
• Equip your vehicle with an alarm
• Install home security cameras that capture the exterior of your residence, including the driveway
• Take steps to conceal the Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.)

Additional tips and information, including an educational video, can be found on our website: https://www.haltonpolice.ca/en/staying-safe/vehicle-theft-prevention-tips.aspx

Crime prevention is a shared responsibility. Call 911 if you witness a crime in progress. Call 905-825-4777 if you see suspicious vehicles or persons in your neighbourhood.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca

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Humane Society gets hit by two criminal acts at two locations

By Staff

August 9th, 2021



It was an upsetting weekend for Burlington Humane Society.

Both the animal shelter at 740 Griffith Court, and The Animal Aid Attic, its second-hand store at 479 John Street, suffered setbacks.

Property was stolen at the Griffith Court location where a lone thief stole a heavy-duty utility wagon. The wagon is valued at over $200.00. Surveillance cameras caught images of the thief as he stole the wagon.

“It was obvious that the thief knew what he wanted. He rode his bicycle directly to the shelter’s back patio where the wagon was kept,” said Doug Shirton, Burlington Humane Executive Director.

“He immediately took the wagon and rode off. The whole incident took about three minutes.”

The wagon is an essential piece of equipment that is used daily to move items to and from a back storage shed as well as carting away animal waste to a back dumpster. “We hope this theft is not the start of a campaign of theft from our premises.”

The second-hand store, The Attic, was vandalized late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Police notified Burlington Humane early Sunday morning that someone threw a rock through the front window. Clean up began immediately and through Sunday morning.

Shirton later learned that there were several businesses vandalized by a rowdy group that night. The huge plate glass window will cost several hundreds of dollars to replace.

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Chief Smith passes away quietly in lonely solitude at the Halton Centennial Manor in Milton. Burlington failed him.

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

January 24th, 2015

Pic 1 Lee Smith

Lee J Smith, former Burlington Chief of Police



Lee J Smith was a “Man’s Man”, because of his father
Burlington residents respected and knew their stern but friendly Chief only as Lee J Smith, but that was not the name he was given at birth. The actual birth name was Lein Joseph Schmidt. No one ever knew that Lee was of German descent when he lived and worked in Burlington.

Pic 18A Erdmann Schmidt

Lee Smith’s father was Erdmann Karl Schmidt who was born in Prussia in 1852. In 1858 the family emigrated from Prussia for a new life in Canada.

Lein was the son of Erdmann Karl Schmidt who was born in Prussia in 1852, and in 1858 Erdmann Schmidt and his family emigrated Prussia destined for a new life in Canada. The Schmidt family started life farming in the London, Ontario area.  Lein’s mother was Elizabeth Talbot. Elizabeth was born in Upper Canada in 1846. Erdmann and Elizabeth married in London, Ontario on July 20, 1880. The marriage produced 4 daughters, Helen, Annie, Katharine, Florence and 2 sons, Adolphus and Lein. All were born between 1881 and 1892.

Pic 18 AAA Schmidt first family

Erdmann Schmidt, his second wife Elizabeth Smither and children pose all dressed up in their Sunday best outfits. Elizabeth was a very special mother. For an unknown reason she had no arms from just above her elbows. Their sons Adolphus is on the left, and Lee is on the right, both standing in the back, while the twins Annie and Katharine sit on either side of Florence. Baby Stephen was born in 1895. This was the couple’s first child.

In 1894 their mother Elizabeth died on January 7th from pneumonia. Erdmann who quickly needed a step mother for his young children remarried a few months later on July 11th 1894 to Elizabeth Smither, a young lady at 26, already a widow, who was born in England. The new couple then started another family, with 3 daughters, Jessie, Nellie, Ethel, and 4 sons, Stephen, William, George & Edmund all born between 1895 and 1909.

Pic 19 Schmidt second family

Erdmann Schmidt, Lee’s father, married a second time, and 6 of their children are in this 1903 photograph: (L-R), William & Stephen are in the back, baby George is on the lap of Florence, the youngest daughter from Erdmann’s first marriage, Mary is in the striped dress, and (L-R), are Nellie and Jessie in front. The other children had not yet been born.

What’s really amazing about this new wife for Erdmann, was she had no arms from just above her elbows and all the way down to where her hands would have been. Yet, this remarkable woman functioned well enough to mother all those children. Just incredible.  Erdmann Schmidt was a devoted family man, religious, and a hard working farmer, who was responsibly raising his 13 children. Erdmann was strict, ruled with an iron fist, but was fair and just, which helped shape the straight forward, no nonsense, tough as nails, authoritative characteristics exuded by Lee J Smith his entire life. To better assimilate into the community, Erdmann eventually changed the family surname Schmidt to Smith, and he also changed his own given name to Edmund. The children with the exception of the two boys Adolphus and Lein were given more English sounding names at birth.

Two records that are not likely to ever be broken.
Chief Lee Joseph Smith holds the distinction of two records that will never be broken in Burlington. The first unbreakable record was Lee Smith ended his career as Burlington’s longest serving Police Chief, a total of 40 years from 1916 through to his retirement in 1956. The second unbreakable record was Chief Smith served faithfully under the first 18 of Burlington’s 28 Mayors’ administrations. This is an  amazing achievement, accomplished by no one else in Canada. Anyone would need phenomenal people skills to deal with all of those diverse personalities over a period of 40 years.

The Mayors Maxwell Smith 1915-1916, Fred Ghent 1917, Charles Coleman 1918, Dr. Thomas Peart 1919, Maxwell Smith 1919, Hughes Cleaver 1920, John J. Hobson 1921-1922, Elgin Harris 1923-1924, James Allen 1925 – 1928, E. Holtby 1929 – 1930, Lloyd Dingle 1931 – 1932, J. W. Ryckman 1933, F. W. Watson 1934-1935, George Harris 1936-1939, J.G. Blair 1940-1943, E. R. Leather 1946-1947, N.R. Craig 1948-1950, & E.W. Smith 1951-1956 all had the pleasure to work with Lee Joseph Smith, their outstanding Burlington Police Chief.

An unfortunate reality
What’s really unfortunate, is this great man has received virtually no recognition for his accomplishments. Here was a man who successfully transitioned the Burlington Police Department, starting in an era when the horse & buggy was still the main form of transportation, and served faithfully right up to 1956, just one  year shy of the world launching a rocket off into space. The Chief always adapted to new methods of management, and was a firm believer in embracing all new technologies as they emerged. From buggy whips to rockets, what more could you ask from someone? Chief Lee Smith was undoubtedly, one of Burlington’s greatest leaders. It could also be argued that Lee J Smith just might be Canada’s greatest Police Chief during the 20th century.

Pic 20 Lee Smith Headstone cropped

The Lee J. smith headstone in Burlington’s historic Greenwood Cemetery where he rests beside his wife Alma Edith McKenzie.

Farewell Chief
On November 5, 1973 Lee Joseph Smith, in his 89th year, quietly passed away in lonely solitude at the Halton Centennial Manor in Milton, and after a 44 year separation, the Chief was buried alongside his beloved wife Alma Edith McKenzie in Burlington’s historic Greenwood Cemetery.   Sadly, this was a man who must have known deep inside; he had been completely forgotten by the community he so dearly loved. Chief Lee Smith had always truly believed that his Burlington was the best place to live in Canada. You didn’t fail us Chief. We failed you.

My opinion
I think as a community we have totally forgotten this man. There is more work to do to better preserve the  colourful history  and stories of  our heritage and Lee Smith. This is a sad injustice bestowed upon a local man who championed Burlington’s justice for over 40 years. His efforts to have us all live in a safe community have endured to this day.

New Halton Regional Police Headquarters

The proposed new Halton Regional Police Services headquarters on Bronte Road, should be named The Lee J Smith Building, Canada’s greatest Police Chief of the 20th century.

My recommendation to recognize The Chief
Here’s my recommendation for what I think would be appropriate for the man who laid the groundwork for what was to become our highly respected Halton Regional Police Services. I think it would be fair to state that Chief Smith was for the most part, the “Founding Father” of modern policing in Halton. Could we then not recommend that the new proposed Headquarters for the Halton Regional Police Services be named to respectfully honour this once in a lifetime great Police Chief? A bronze statue of Chief Smith proudly standing at attention right at the entrance would be a great addition to complement the building’s name.

Part 1 of a 4 part feature

Part 2 of a 4 part feature

Part 3 of a 4 part feature.


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Lee Smith: Burlington's police chief for 40 years; he saw it all.

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

January 18, 2015


Burlington is using the month of August to celebrate local history. Sometime ago the Gazette published a series of articles by Mark Gillies, a lifelong Burlingtonian. It is appropriate to re-publish the stories about the people who built this city.

A Burlington History Maker, Like No Other
His name was Lee Joseph Smith, another outstanding citizen of Burlington, and just like Spencer Smith, this individual also made a huge impact on why so many of us choose to live here. What did this man do? As in so many cases with Burlington’s history makers, they have not been properly recognized.

Pic 1 Lee Smith

Chief Lee Joseph Smith, (1885 – 1973). Was this man Canada’s greatest Police Chief ever?

Most residents will not know his name, or at best, barely remember who Lee Smith was, but by the time you finish reading this four part feature, you will better understand this man’s contributions to the safety and protection of our local society. This is for you Lee. This is your story.

Farm Boy joins The Northwest Mounted Police
Lee was born July 26, 1885 in London, Ontario, but spent most of his boyhood years growing up on the family’s market garden farm in Saltfleet Township, which is the Stoney Creek area of Wentworth County. When Lee was 21 years of age, in 1906, he made a decision that was about to change his life, and not knowing it at the time, this same decision would eventually affect the residents of Burlington, even to this day.

Pic 2 Northwest Mounted Police Officer

Here is a typical Northwest Mounted Police officer in full dress uniform around 1911. Lee would have worn a “Mountie” uniform exactly like this one, and then climb onto his horse and head out on patrol.

His decision was to serve the public in law enforcement. Lee joined the Northwest Mounted Police, where they promptly sent him out west, where Lee patrolled on horseback throughout the wild desolate prairie lands of Alberta, only 1 year into becoming a province.

Later, Lee transferred to the Brandon, Manitoba detachment as a result of his outstanding service, having been promoted to detective. When Police Commissioner Aylesworth Bowen Perry introduced annual training classes, Lee was selected as one of his first instructors. No doubt about it, Lee Smith was a good as it gets; a rising star who undoubtedly was destined to one day become a future Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Officer Smith while out west had some skirmishes and even took a few bullets, fired upon by local rowdies, but the young man survived, and continued to serve faithfully, and grow as a highly respected police officer.

Boy meets Girl
While posted to the Brandon detachment, Lee met his future wife to be. Her name was Alma Edith Mackenzie a lovely young lady from Woodstock, New Brunswick. Alma was a student studying at the Brandon Baptist College. When Alma was 21 years old, she and Lee tied the knot in Brandon on September 27, 1911. The newly wedded couple lived and worked in Brandon until 1914, when personal tragedy struck back home in Ontario.

Lee, after serving with the Mounties for eight rugged years, felt it best if he resigned, and return to his home area of Hamilton with his bride Alma, after receiving the tragic news his younger sister Annie Katherine, at the age of 26, had died on May 17, 1914, from tuberculosis. Annie had painfully suffered for several years with the dreaded disease. The family was grief stricken. Lee, a compassionate man, felt he had completely let his family down with his long absence from home, and racked with guilt, now wanted to be closer to his family, especially at this very difficult and sad time. Home for good, Lee needed to find work as soon as possible. Then he heard about a possible opening as a constable in Burlington.

Lee Smith finds employment in Burlington as a Night Constable
Lee was hired as a replacement night constable a few weeks after his sister’s death in the spring of 1914. Burlington, at that time, had a population of around 2,000 people during World War 1. Most of the young men from town and the surrounding farms had already gone off to war. If you think about it, if about half the population were children, and ½ of the adults were female, this only leaves 500 adult men in town. Burlington did its part, and we sent 300 over to Europe. Only 200 elderly men remained behind. Who was going to keep us safe? The Town Council had recently gone through a series of unsuccessful attempts to hire other men who did not work out to be the kind of Burlington police officer they wanted patrolling the streets after dark.

Lee Smith’s interview was impressive, and Lee was selected to be their new man of law and order. Lee continued to be exceptional at police work putting his Northwest Mounted Police training to good use. Sometime in 1916 Burlington’s first Chief Constable, Charles Tufgar, 36, who lived on Ontario Street, unexpectedly resigned. Lee Smith, without any hesitation by Town Council was promoted to Burlington’s Chief Constable. Town Council wanted to make sure their “all-star officer” didn’t one day suddenly resign, with ambitions to move up the ladder with another police department. As it was, Lee was not about to leave. The Chief strongly believed in loyalty to the Mayor, the Town Council, and the residents of Burlington he served. The truth was Lee and Alma loved Burlington.

The new Chief delivers his first report to Town Council
It was the duty of the Police Chief to provide the Town Council with an annual update of the activities and concerns of the Police Department during the first week of January. In the Chief’s first report in 1917, he acknowledged the resignation of Chief Charles Tufgar, and he also informed the town’s Council they were without the services of a night constable.

The Chief reported that in 1916 there were 475 cases that went to Court. During that same year, the Chief had found 43 doors were unlocked, and advised those residents to have them secured. The Chief reported that Burlington had 5 fires, and 24 accidents were attended. There were two cases of aggravated assault, 76 overnight lodgers, three house break ins, two charges of abusive language, 14 thefts, four common assaults, 12 disorderly conducts, 11 vagrancy charges, 1 trespassing charge, two stolen horses, 49 warnings issued for small offences, 161 local complaints received and investigated, three charges of residents not having a proper license, five charges of riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, three charges of property damage, 3 cruelty to animal charges, one charge for not having sleigh bells, 286 aliens were registered, seven charges laid for being an alien enemy, 14 charges for drunkenness and breach of the OTA, and seven charges laid for breach of the Motor Vehicle Act.

There were 11 arrests outside of points. The Chief also reported that 29 children had not attended school and the parents had been contacted. A total of $1206.20 in fines was collected. Visitations to the two pool rooms and the moving picture theatre were deemed satisfactory and managed properly. The Chief was referring to Burlington’s new Crystal Theatre located on Brant Street, opposite Ontario Street.

The following year in June 1918, the Crystal Theatre featured the two classic blockbuster silent films, “Birth of a Nation” and “Intolerance”, complete with an in-house orchestra. The Chief concluded by saying, “I highly appreciate the valuable assistance given me by Mayor and Council, also that of the Special Constables and other Town officials during the year.” No doubt about it, the Chief had a very busy year in 1916.

The Chief expands his Police Department & hires more officers
When Lee Smith became Chief Constable, he was responsible for additional duties other than police work. It was also Lee’s job to do all the janitorial duties, such as washing windows, sweeping the floor, cleaning washrooms, and to do minor repairs around the municipal office. Lee was receiving $17.80 each week, and that was after his raise, when he was promoted to Chief. This was thought to be good pay back then.

One day, the Town Council under the leadership of Mayor Maxwell Smith, himself a man of great vision, innovation and entrepreneurship, decided that Lee could use some help as the town tried to modernize, so later that year in 1916 Town Council presented Lee with a telephone for his office, something long overdue, since telephones had been in use since their invention around 1877, almost 40 years earlier.

That wasn’t all that changed for the better. The following year in 1917, affable Bert Dunham was hired as a special constable, and it was decided Bert was to work every other Sunday for $2.00 a day. Bert and his wife Ida who had seven young children were living in a very small house at the corner of Pine and Elizabeth Street; and for the Dunham family, this new source of money was greatly welcomed. Lee knew that Bert needed the extra money and this was his way of helping out when he hired Bert for the job.

One thing about Lee J Smith, he really knew people. Bert was grateful for the work, and he wasn’t going to let the compassionate Chief down. Now, Lee was no longer on call seven days a week, but still came pretty close to around the clock duty. Lee not only worked days, but he also worked nights, and it was decided another constable was needed for the still vacant night shift.

Allan Mitchell, a Scottish born family man who was about 50 years old, also could use another job, after hitting some tough times, and like Bert, Allan could use the extra money to augment his irregular income. The Chief puzzled over how Allan would labour during the day with his various odd jobs, and then still work all night. Regardless of how Allan was going to make it work, he was hired as a night constable by Chief Smith, and this brought about some more badly needed relief for this completely overworked Police Chief.

Pic 3 Adolphus Smith

Here is a very dapper Adolphus Smith sporting a fashionable bowler hat, with his wife Susan and daughter Annie around 1918 at their home 2091 Maria Street, near the corner of Martha Street. Doll, as he was known, was the older brother of Chief Smith, and Burlington’s first motorcycle officer.

A Police motorcycle, automobile accidents & possible nepotism
The Burlington Police Department grew to 4 officers in late 1919 when Chief Smith hired his older brother Adolphus as a new Burlington police officer. Adolphus was better known by everyone as “Doll”.  During World War 1, fighting against Germany, Adolphus was probably not the best name to be known by, so Doll thought this shortened version of his name worked better. Doll Smith, a woodworker by trade was working at a munitions plant in Hamilton during World War 1.

Pic 4 Car Accident Highway 2 1923

This accident occurred on the Lakeshore when the driver was heading towards Bronte. The impact was severe enough to snap the power line pole.

When the war ended, Doll who was married, with a young daughter to raise, was soon to face unemployment and began looking for work. As it turned out, Chief Smith, a man with uncanny vision, had been thinking of a way to patrol the Lakeshore Road area. This road was becoming busier all the time, now that automobiles were becoming more prevalent, and wouldn’t you just know it, automobile accidents were starting to happen, a new phenomenon for the department. The population had increased to close to 2700 people. The population was getting close to a 50% increase over wartime numbers in town.  Chief Smith, with virtually no real budget to work with managed to locate a free motorcycle for his department.

The Chief discovered that British World War 1 surplus motorcycles under the Imperial Gift plan, a program set up for all Members of the British Commonwealth to receive some of Britain’s military surplus, on a ruling established by the British Parliament on June 4, 1919 was put into effect. Chief Smith was elated and quickly sent in his application for one slightly used battle scarred motorcycle. When the machine arrived later that year, Constable Smith was assigned as Burlington’s first motorcycle officer.

Pic 5 1918 Matchless

Chief Smith secured a war surplus motorcycle similar to this 1918 Matchless, and assigned his brother to patrol the busy Lakeshore Road, the main thoroughfare for automobiles, trucks, carriages, wagons, bicyclists and pedestrians between Toronto and Hamilton from 1919 to 1930.

Doll patrolled the Lakeshore Road all the way to Toronto and back. Either Doll was hooked on riding a motorcycle, or he thought Burlington was far bigger than it actually was; whatever the reason, this is what Doll did for a few years. Doll left the department in the late 1920s to ride for the Ontario Highway Patrol, and in 1930 he moved over to the Ontario Provincial Police, when they hired 70 constables to begin their own motorcycle division. Doll was one of the OPP’s first motorcycle officers hired, and remained an OPP motorcycle officer patrolling Highways 8 and 20, right through to the Niagara area, until his retirement in 1950.

What about the nepotism? It wasn’t to be a problem. Not many people in that day could even drive an automobile, and far less could operate a motorcycle. Adolphus Smith already new how to ride, or so he claimed. Doll just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Adolphus Smith passed away in 1975 at 92 years of age.

The Ontario Temperance Act
Just when Lee Smith received his promotion to Chief, Ontario went bone dry in 1916. The Ontario Temperance Act (OTA) was enacted and this new law, designed with good intentions, prohibited alcohol sales. The OTA was in force until the Act was repealed in 1927. Needless to say, the Chief and his three officers were kept busy trying to enforce this unpopular law. Quite possibly, Chief Tufgar may have been provoked into his resignation over opposition to this legislation. The Temperance Act was that controversial.

The story of Burlington’s most famous Chief of Police was told in for parts.  The Gazette is re-publishing parts 1 and 4.  Links to parts 2 and 3 are linked below.

Part 2

Part 3

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Scammers are getting creative and using the technolofy we need to steal from us

Pepper Parr

August 3rd, 2021



They are getting craftier.

The scammers – those people who use the internet to get information you do not want them to have – then they try to steal your money or data that is sensitive

Got this earlier today:

Dear Customer,

Our data isn’t really in “a cloud”. The word became popular as a way to describe how many organizations are using locations where thousands of computer servers are used to store data where any number of people, with permissions, can access the data and add to it.

Your Apple ID was used to sign in to iCloud via a web browser.
Date and Time: 03 August 2021, 07:49 PDT
IP Address, Country:, China – Shanghai

If the information above looks familiar, you can disregard this email.

If you have not signed in to iCloud recently and believe someone may have accessed your account, go to My Apple ID and change your password as soon as possible.
Apple Support

The problem with this notice is that we don’t have a CLOUD account – we have plans to set things up so that people can access some of our data.

These guys want to streak it before we are operating in the Cloud as a client.
Brazen bunch aren’t they.

There is a point here – as you make more use of the tools available – be really careful how you set things up.

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Halton Police Board appoints a Chief Governance Officer

By Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2021



The Halton Police Services Board wants to ensure that policing is aligned with the community’s evolving needs, values and expectations; to that end they have created the role of Chief Governance Officer, or ‘CGO’.

Fred Kaustinen first Chief Governance Officer for the Halton Police Service Board.

It is part of Halton Police Board’s comprehensive board-modernization initiative.

The CGO will help modernize the Board’s policies and plans, create a new reporting and evaluation system, and develop a state-of-the-art governance training program.

The Board has appointed Fred Kaustinen as the first Chief Governance Officer.

Oakville Councillor and Chair of the Halton Police Board, Jeff Knoll said “Kaustinen is the foremost expert on police governance in Canada. He has a wealth of experience working with the Ontario, Alberta and Canadian Police Governance Associations, plus the Manitoba Police Commission and numerous municipal and First Nations police boards.”.

Kaustinen, in a media release from the Board said: “The members of the Halton Police Board are recognized for their openness to new ideas, creativity, and relentless pursuit of service excellence. The progress we can make as a team of innovative leaders will set new national standards for police governance. It’s a really exciting opportunity for the whole community.”

We had a number of questions about the appointment including:

Is this a full time job for the CGO?

He reports to the Board – correct?

While he would not be involved in operations – to what degree can he probe, look and investigate if necessary?

Is this an appointment with a time frame?

Was the job advertised?

We will let you know when we get answers.




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Theft at the retail and LCBO locations increasing

By Staff

July 26th, 2021



On July 12, 2021, at 3:30pm, two suspects entered the Sephora store at Mapleview mall. After a few minutes, the suspects made their way to the back corner of the store where they proceeded to place $1,450 worth of skin care products in shopping bags. The suspects continued shopping for a few minutes before leaving the store without paying for the items.

It’s all very casual – these young people walk in and put expensive products in a shopping bag and walk out with out paying. Pretty brazen. This was happening at LCBO stores. Now it is being seen in high end products.

Suspect #1: female, white, blond hair, wearing white tank top, white crocks and blue denim. The suspect was also wearing a mask-PPE.

Suspect #2: female, white, brown hair, pregnant and wearing grey leggings, back tank top and black and white runners. The suspect was also wearing a medical mask-PPE.

If you have any information on this case, please contact the HRPS or Crime Stoppers.

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Police parking lot offered as a safe place to transact business. Really!

By Staff

July 20, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service is pleased to announce the launch of our first Buy & Sell Exchange Zone.

A zone is an area the police set up that they deem to be a safe place.  Right outside police headquarters is probably as safe as you are going to get.

Why such a zone?  The Halton Regional Police explain:

Many people have become victims of crimes like robberies, frauds and thefts when attempting to buy or sell property online. The purpose of the Buy & Sell Exchange Zone is to provide some additional peace of mind to those who are buying, selling, or trading property online. If you are meeting new people while finalizing online transactions, we encourage you to use our Exchange Zone.

You can expect to be safe outside Police headquarters

The clearly-signed Exchange Zone is situated in the visitor parking lot of our 20 Division facility, which is located at:
95 Oak Walk Drive, Oakville, Ontario L6H 0G6 – Phone: 905-825-4777 ext. 2

If you are unable to meet at our Buy & Sell Exchange Zone, please consider completing your transactions in well-lit, public and popular locations to avoid being a victim of crime.

Tips to protect yourself during a buy and sell exchange:
• Complete your transaction during daytime hours only.
• Use the buddy system when possible. Bring a family or friend with you, or at the very least, let someone know who you will be meeting, the time, and the location of the exchange.
• To reduce the potential of falling victim to fraud, never complete a buy and sell transaction by mail.
• When meeting in person, always inspect goods you wish to purchase before giving money to the seller.
• Limit the amount of personal information you provide.
• Stop. Pause. Think. If something seems too good to be true, it likely is.

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Deputy Chief Wilkie Appointed as Member of the Order of Merit

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 14th, 2021



On July 13, 2021, Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie was presented with the Member level of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.

Wilkie Rober HRPS

Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie: MOM

The Member of the Order of Merit (M.O.M.) specifically recognizes exceptional service or performance of duty over an extended period, usually at the local or regional/provincial level. Normally, recipients are invited to a ceremony where they are presented with the insignia of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by the Governor General at Rideau Hall or la Citadelle. This year, due to the pandemic, the presentation was virtual in nature.

Established in October 2000, the Order of Merit of the Police Forces honours the leadership and exceptional service or distinctive merit displayed by the men and women of the Canadian Police Services, and recognizes their commitment to this country. The primary focus is on exceptional merit, contributions to policing and community development. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the Order’s Sovereign, the governor general is its Chancellor and a Commander, and the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is its Principal Commander.

There is a rigorous nomination and appointment process involved in receiving this recognition, with a focus on exceptional merit, contributions to policing, and community development and/or implementations.

Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie began his career with the Halton Regional Police Service in 1996. Throughout his career he has served in uniform operations in the Town of Milton, Town of Halton Hills, City of Burlington and Town of Oakville. He has worked in the Drug Unit, Mobile Surveillance Unit, Homicide Unit, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Domestic Violence Unit and as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief. He has also led several areas as the Operations Commander in Milton and Halton Hills, District Commander in Oakville, Critical Incident Commander for major public safety incidents and the Commander of Emergency Services, Training, and Human Resource Services. He was promoted to Deputy Chief of Regional Operations in 2018, and in October 2019, he started in his current role as Deputy Chief of District Operations.

In addition to his role as Deputy Chief, he is Vice President of the Executive Board of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and is also the Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

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Suspect steals alcohol from two LCBO stores.

Crime 100By Staff

July 7th, 2021



On Tuesday, 22 June 2021 1601hrs., an unknown male suspect attended the LCBO store located at 501 Appleby Line in the City of Burlington and stole two bottles of alcohol valued at $93.55.

lcbo theft June 22

Suspect robs alcohol from two LCBO stores.

The same suspect committed another theft (Halton Occurrence #2021-195001) at this same store where he stole another two bottles of alcohol valued at $148.70. Total theft in two occurrences is $242.25.

Suspect: Male, White, in 20’s, approximately 5’10 and 200lbs., wearing a dark blue coloured “Dallas Cowboys” #9, Romo Jersey, dark pants, black running shoes and a blue coloured Dallas Cowboys cap. The suspect had a black coloured backpack. The suspect was wearing a medical mask PPE.

If you have any information on this case, please contact the HRPS or Crime Stoppers.

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Sudden interest in a two year old drug bust story - why?

Crime 100By Staff

June 30th, 2021



Website based newspapers are different.

The story is in the archives and get read years later.

We watch traffic to the website closely to understand where the readers are coming from and what they are interested in.

In June of 2020 we published a story on a drug bust, a rather large endeavour that kept the police busy for a number of months.

There was nothing exceptional about the story – what caught our attention was the sudden increase in the traffic.  This past couple of days a couple of hundred people were interested in what happened to the five accused.

What was the story about? CLICK on the link.

The traffic to the story was decent when the arrest announcement was released.  Someone was tracking this story.  Then it soared.  We haven’t had a chance to talk with the Crown and learn if a trial has taken place.  Someone cares about this story,

Drug bust viewers


Drug bust 2020

There were no prescription drugs in this bust.

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Brazen thefts from LCBO stores have taken place recently - latest was earlier this week

Crime 100By Staff

June 15th, 2021



On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 5:15pm, a male suspect attended the LCBO store located at 321 Cornwall Road in the Town of Oakville and stole four bottles of alcohol valued at $306.40.

LCBO theft suspect June 15th

Images are very clear – someone should know the suspect.

Suspect: Male, White, appears to be in 30’s, brown hair, approximately 5’8 and 175lbs., wearing a white tank top style undershirt, teal coloured baggy pajama pants and grey coloured croc shoes. The suspect had a black backpack with white dots on it. The suspect was wearing a medical mask PPE.

The suspect has visible tattoos on both forearms.

There have been a number of thefts of liquor from LCBO shops.

The images captured are of very high quality – someone should recognize the man with expensive drinking habits.

What is confusing is how do the police know the exact value of what was stolen? Did the suspect stand before the cashier who rang in the purchase and the suspect walked out CrimeStopper_Logowithout paying?

Pretty brazen!

If you have any information on this case, please contact the HRPS or Crime Stoppers.

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Police Looking to Identify Assault Suspect in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

June 8th, 2021



The police would like some help identifying a suspect in an assault that took place at a Canadian Tire located at 777 Guelph Line in Burlington 0n the morning of Sunday June 6th.

HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) were contacted after a female employee was grabbed by the arm through a fence by an unknown male suspect.

The victim was able to free herself. She suffered a mild (physical) injury to her arm.

Police have learned this suspect attended the same Canadian Tire location the day prior to the assault (Saturday June 5).

The suspect was observed hanging around the store for several hours. He made multiple attempts to interact with the victim and pointed his phone towards her.

The male is described as white, in his 40s with an unkempt short beard and a noticeable goatee. He has greyish, black hair.

On June 5, the suspect was wearing a navy blue button up shirt with a collar, beige cargo pants, sandals, a camo baseball cap and sunglasses with blue lenses and black frames. The suspect hung  around the Garden Centre at this Canadian Tire location between the hours of 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

On June 6, the same suspect was wearing a black athletic type shirt, grey khaki shorts, with the same camo hat and a blue surgical mask hanging from one ear. The assault took place at approximately 9:45 am.

CrimeStopper_LogoAnyone with information regarding this investigation or dash cam video of the area identified during these two time frames is asked to contact the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau – Detective Constable David Griffiths at 905 825-4777 ext. 2350 or ext. 2316.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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