Halton police get to rack up another “cold case” that now proceeds to trial after police arrest and return suspect to Burlington.


Halton Regional Police advise that HRPS homicide detectives arrested the accused in Banff, Alberta and escorted Jan Goro back to Ontario.  The R.C.M.P. and O.P.P. did provide investigative assistance. There are many intricacies associated with any homicide investigation, particularly those that go unsolved for an extended period of time.  A great deal of work is still to be undertaken in this case and members of the homicide unit remain committed to securing a conviction.   

  By Pepper Parr

Burlington, on. April 24, 2013

As cold  cases go – this was pretty frigid but by keeping the file open Det/Sergeant, John Mans,  head of the homicide  with the Halton Regional Police Service was able on April 23, 2013.to see the arrest of Jan GORO (66 yrs) in Banff, Alberta for the murder of Donald McAvella which took place on April 26, 1976  – 37 years ago.  Det/Sergeant was probably at police college at the time.

The lifeless body of 54-year-old Donald Ross McAvella was discovered in his Burlington apartment.  Mr. McAvella died as a result of being stabbed multiple times.

Witnesses told police they overheard an argument occurring between two individuals in McAvella’s apartment in the early hours of the morning, and following a series of screams, observed a man leaving.  Investigators believed the man who left did so in a taxi destined for Hamilton.

Numerous interviews were conducted, physical evidence was collected and analyzed, and the case remained unsolved. 


News photo published in 1976 of murdered Donald Ross McAvella.  Case solved based on December 2012 information.

In December 2012, as a result of a further review of the case and information coming to light, investigators arrested Jan GORO (66 yrs) in Banff, Alberta, on  April 23, 2013 for the murder of Donald McAvella.

GORO was escorted back to Ontario and appeared in Milton Court on April 24, 2013 facing a charge of Second Degree Murder.  This was 37 years to the day of the murder of Mr. McAvella.   GORO was remanded to this Friday, April 26 at 9:30 a.m.

D/Sergeant Mans spends the bulk of his time on Fraud – which is more than enough to keep him busy in this city.  Homicide is a rare instance but this case shows that they do eventually get their man.  

A spokesperson for the family stated they are relieved that a person has been arrested in connection with the murder

Halton police Chief Steve Tanner acknowledged the investigative assistance provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ‘K’ Division and the Ontario Provincial Police Behavioural Sciences Unit which helped lead to an arrest in this case.

If you have information that would assist in any homicide investigation you are asked to contact the Halton Regional Police Service Homicide Unit at 905 825-4747 x8760, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS (8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting ‘Tip201’ with your message to 274637(crimes).

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Police seize drugs valued at $100,000 on the street at a Bellview home – and a list of people who owe the drug dealers money.

By Pepper Parr

It was a busy Friday for the Halton Police when they took down a location with drugs valued at more than $100,000 on the street and three rifles.

Police raided a 1244 Bellview Street location and  found:

Over one pound of Cannabis Marihuana.

Over 9 Kgs (20 pounds) of Cannabis Resin (Hashish

a debt list

digital scale

3 unsecured rifles

A previously dismantled grow lab

That debt list is perhaps the most valuable part of the raid; it will probably reveal a list of small time drug dealers in the area.

The list of names of lower level drug dealers doesn’t seem to be on the table; that was probably the most valuable result of this police raid.

The police will be busy this weekend.

Police have charged the following persons with the listed offences:

 Jean Luc St LAURENT (20years of age): 

1)           Trafficking a controlled substance to wit: cannabis marihuana.

2)           Possession of a controlled substance to wit: cannabis marihuana.3) Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking to wit: cannabis resin/hashish.  

4)           Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking to wit: cannabis marihuana.

He was held for a bail hearing, and is to appear in Hamilton Bail court.

A young person (17 years of age): 

1) Possession of a controlled substance to wit: cannabis marihuana.                                 

2) Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking to wit: cannabis resin

3) Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking to wit: cannabis marihuana.

The young person was held for a bail hearing, and is to appear in Hamilton Bail court.

Elize St LAURENT (55 years of age): 

1)   Possession of a controlled substance to wit: cannabis marihuana.                     

 She was released on an appearance notice, and is to appear in Milton court on May 14, 2013.

The investigation is continuing regarding the rifles.

Investigators remind the public to utilize Crime Stoppers to report any illegal drug, gun or gang activity at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes)

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Tractor trailers are going to get a real close look by Halton police who will be cruising the QEW looking for violations.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  April 19, 2013.  The big rigs are going to get a big look at by the Halton Regional Police Service District Response Units, along with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Unit and other law enforcement agencies on  April 22 and 23, Monday and Tuesday of next week, when the conduct a concentrated truck safety blitz in Burlington. 

Officers with specialized training will be part of the team conducting safety inspections, cargo securement, hours of service, weight and measure, speed limiter, environmental, and agricultural inspections.

Tractor trailers will get very close inspections Monday and Tuesday of next week – Halton police are going to crack down

The inspections will take place at both Mainway Arena and Appleby Arena parking lots, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Expect to see police cars escorting big trucks that were nabbed on the QEW and brought in for a closer inspection.  Some of the truck drivers may be calling a cab to get home: In the past, some of the vehicles brought in didn’t do all that well.

The province has had to really double down on the trucking industry when wheels began to come flying off trucks and safety was seen as something that could be given a “lick and a promise”.  Drivers were found to be driving their rigs for really long stretches and need pills to keep themselves awake.

The industry couldn’t be depended on to police themselves – so the local police forces along with the OPP took on the task.

We wonder why the police announce these inspections: doesn’t that alert those who don’t care all that much about following the rules and has them driving their rigs elsewhere.  Monday and Tuesday are tough days for us on the QEW in Halton – use the 401 might be the advice a dispatcher gives drivers.

We’ll let you know how many they catch.

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The hard part of community policing – reporting on a pedophile released back into the community. There is more the chief of police can do.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 17, 2013.  The media release was blunt, direct and very much to the point.  Anthony Burke, a convicted pedophile was out of jail and back on the streets.  He was considered dangerous and the police chief  was telling the community to be careful.

“In the interest of community safety, Halton Regional Police Service Chief Steve Tanner discloses the following information concerning a convicted sexual offender residing in Burlington.

Anthony Burke – how will Burlington decide to handle this man now that he is out of prison and back on the streets? will we find a way to get him the help he needs and prevent another crime – or will we hound him to the point where he becomes even more dangerous.

“Anthony Vincent BURKE was convicted on June 28, 2011 of Sexual Assault, Sexual Interference, Make Child Pornography and Indecent Exposure to a Person Under 16 years of age.  The offences pertain to incidents that took place in 2004 in Waterdown, Ontario and a related investigation in 2011.  He was sentenced to a period of incarceration.

“At his sentencing hearing before the Ontario Court of Justice, BURKE was made subject to a Prohibition Order for a period of 10 years which prohibited him from the following:

 Attending a public park or public swimming area where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present, or a daycare centre, school ground, playground or community centre.

Seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust of authority towards persons under the age of 16 years.

 Using a computer system within the meaning of subsection 342.1(2) of the Criminal Code for the purpose of communicating with a person under the age of 16 years.

Anthony Burke – how did this man, born 71 years ago, get to this point in his life. And what do we as a community want to do with him for his remaining years? We could wait until he re-offends, and he will re-offend if he does not get help, or do we find a way to get Anthony Burke the help he needs.

BURKE moved to Burlington in November 2012 and as mandated by the provisions of Christopher’s Law, promptly notified the Halton Regional Police Service of his change of address.  Since that time, he had been closely monitored by the Halton Regional Police Offender Management Unit and officials from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

On Thursday February 7, 2013 at 6:40 p.m., BURKE was observed within the Tansley Woods Community Centre, Burlington.  The community centre operates numerous children’s programs, has on site daycare centres, indoor playground area, indoor public swimming pool and library facilities.

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Parent wants city to look into what can be done about better safety along rail lines; four killed so far this year.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON April 16, 2013.  For Denise Davy it is personal.

She got to the point where she felt something had to be done; someone had to say something about the deaths taking place at the CN rail lines that run through the city.  Denise lost her son Ryan, killed at a railway crossing in 1998 on the tracks east of Appleby Line.

A 2007 Transport Canada study showed that about 50 per cent of pedestrian rail fatalities are considered suicides. Davy said “it shouldn’t matter why people are dying – just that it’s happening which shows the spots are unsafe.”

Most of the deaths along the rail line are young people who have their own way of grieving and leaving there messages. This one, written on a wooden fence board is one of many at the end of Woodfield.

A little digging showed that back in 2005 there were two accidents on the rail line; one in which a transient sales person was struck by a train but lived to basically walk away from it.  Another, same place 60 days later resulted in the death of a young woman.

Nailed to a fence along the rail line: Simple message – serious situation.

It is very easy to cross the tracks – there are no barriers and the signs are a little on the limp side.

A number of months ago there was a break in at a bank and the thieves were able to slip out the back door while the police were in the bank and run across the railway tracks.  Nothing to stop them – other than the alert police officer with a dog that had a good nose.  Those thieves banked on being able to run across those tracks.

In the locations we photographed there are pathways lined with railway cinder stone and in one spot there was actually a patch of  asphalt in place.  That asphalt didn’t fall off the back of a truck.  The railways don’t use the stuff.  The only people anywhere near those railway tracks are crews re-surfacing city roads.  No rocket science needed to figure that one out.

Davy, at one time a reporter with the Hamilton Spectator  explained to a council committee that it is very difficult to get solid data on the number of deaths that resulted from people trying to cross the three rail lines that run through the city.  The police don’t keep detailed records on these accidents she explained and most people see these deaths as suicides which people don’t want to talk about. . 

Between 1996 and 2011 18 people were killed by trains in Halton.  In 2012 and 2013 another four were killed.  Those numbers, Davy suggested might mean Burlington has the highest rate of  rail line death rate in Canada.  Don’t think the Mayor is going to mention that when he next tells an audience how safe the city is.

Davy told council that CN told her they were responsible for fifty feet either side of the railway line.  After that it was up to the city.

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Two Burlington men face charges after a sharp-eyed citizen took notice of suspicious behaviour.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 16, 2013.  A citizen out for a walk on Headon Forest Drive noticed two males entering driveways along the street and peeking into parked vehicles.

She walked to the nearby police station and reported her observations to officers and a detailed description of the men.  Officers responded to the immediate area and located two men in a driveway on Maderna Road.  The pair ran in between some homes and were found hiding under some stairs.

 Once arrested, both were found to be in possession of stolen items.

 Jason BAIRD (36 yrs) and Michael TRUMPER (30 yrs) face charges of Possession of Stolen Property (four counts), Theft Under $5000 (three counts) and Prowl by Night. 

TRUMPER faces an additional charge of Possession of Break-in Instruments.

 Burlington Detectives are investigating to see if these two  suspects were involved in  other related incidents.

 Any additional witnesses or potential victims are asked to contact Detective Jared McLeod at 905 825-4747 x2307.

 The police didn’t name the citizen but at the next Police Services Bard meeting perhaps there could be a quiet recognition of the citizen’s service.

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Another early morning home entry – Oak Grove this time. Sooner or later someone is going to be hurt. Is it time for increased police patrols?



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 16, 2013.  An Oak Grove residence was entered on April 16, 2013 at 1:45 a.m.

A young girl awoke to see a man standing in her bedroom doorway and, assuming it was her father, asked what he was doing.  The man did not respond, but promptly descended a nearby staircase.

 The young girl went to her parent’s room and explained what had occurred.  The father began checking the home and discovered the rear patio sliding door ajar and a small amount of coins missing from the kitchen area.

 The homeowner spent considerable time looking for the suspect within the residence and the surrounding neighbourhood prior to contacting the police for assistance at 2:40 a.m.

 Police attended the area, but were unable to locate the suspect involved.

 Police really need to be called the moment there is a problem – that’s what the 911 service is there for.  Police can respond very promptly but they need to be called.

 The suspect is described as 5’11”, average build with short dark hair.  He was wearing a black t-shirt and dark coloured pants and holding an unknown object in his left hand.

 Police offer the following tips to homeowners as a means of reducing the risk of their homes to being broken into:

  Securely lock all windows/doors to home

• Have an alarm/video surveillance system installed

• Utilize exterior lighting

• Use locks on gates to backyard

• If you suspect your home has been entered and/or an intruder is still present within or nearby, contact 9-1-1 immediately for police assistance.


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If you’re a tweep – the Chief wants to talk to you – if you’re a creep – he can arrange to have you arrested.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 15, 2013  The people who count these things say that 66% if Canadians actively use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

 If you want to impress your friends –make the Halton Regional Police Service “Chief” a friend and then tweet with him.  Police services worldwide – and, by extension, many police chiefs – are proactively using various social media platforms as a new method to actively engage the public in crime prevention and policing.

Halton’s Chief Steve Tanner, has a degree in psychology and is usually abreast of the changes in the way the public thinks.  Many police types don’t trust social media but Tanner has decided to jump in and see how it can be made to work for his police service.  He can be read on Twitter at:  @ChiefTanner.

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Tanner wants to tweet with you.

“I am a self-admitted newbie to Twitter, but see its tremendous potential to enhance my connection with people who live and work in Halton, and across Ontario and beyond, so that we can engage in meaningful dialogue about public safety, crime prevention and community policing issues,”  said Chief Tanner, adding, “Through shared tweets, I am also looking forward to being able to put a human face on the Chief of Police title, and get to know active Twitter users in our community in return.”

Chief Tanner’s presence on Twitter compliments the official @HaltonPolice Twitter account, so that the public can have quick and easy access to the latest Halton police news, crime prevention information and safety tips, and receive answers to any general questions about policing in Halton that they may have.

Chief Tanner emphasized that neither his account, @ChiefTanner, nor the official Service account @HaltonPolice, are monitored 24/7, which is an important factor the public needs to keep in mind if following them on Twitter.

“For emergencies or crimes in progress, the public should still call 9-1-1 and to report non-emergencies, call 905-825-4777,” said Chief Tanner. “Twitter is not a crime reporting tool.  The public can report certain types of crime online at our website, www.haltonpolice.ca, but when in doubt, call us.”

Chief Tanner and the Halton Regional Police Service are focused on building the Service’s base of local Twitter followers who reside or do business within Halton Hills, Milton, Burlington, and Oakville, and encourages local Tweeps to follow or add the service to one of their public safety lists.

“Certainly everyone is invited and welcome to follow me or the Service on Twitter, but my priority is engaging with the local community first and foremost, so please be sure to follow us and say hello,” said Chief Tanner.

To connect with the Halton Regional Police Service, follow @HaltonPolice on Twitter and to connect with Chief Tanner follow @ChiefTanner. 

To follow Our Burlington – check out our Facebook page and tweet what we produce to people you think might be interested.

Couple of questions to the Chief:  Is the tweet I get from you – tell you anything about me.

Does my being your friend on Facebook compromise my identity in any way?  will I be dropped into a data base somewhere?

The Halton Police recently put up a map that will tell you where crimes take place in the Region.  That crime data does not belong to the police – it gets given to the people who provided the service to the police.  They don’t tell you that when you use the service.

The city of Hamilton took exception to their police service using those crime maps – not a word of comment or dissent from Burlington’s member of the Police Service Board.  why not?

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That evasive action training police officers get came in handy; avoids accident and snags a driver with more than 80 mgs

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 11, 2013  Just a little after  midnight on Wednesday April 10, 2013 a Halton officer was driving a police cruiser southbound on Walkers Line just south of Upper Middle Road when a vehicle sped westbound out of a townhouse complex, across three lanes of traffic and nearly struck the officer’s vehicle.

The officer took evasive action to avoid a collision and eventually managed to stop the vehicle just north of Country Club Drive, after the vehicle mounted a curb and came to rest against a pole.  That sounds as if the pole stopped the car.

Kassandra OSBORNE, 22 yrs, faces charges of Impaired Driving and Over 80 mgs.

Ms Osborne will have some explaining to do, won’t she?

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Middle of the day on a major street – thief walks in saying: “I thought the house was for sale” and walks out with cash.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.   April 8th, 2013   On a bright day, middle of the day, a Burlington couple were doing gardening work in the front yard of their Appleby Line residence.  One of the homeowners went inside and found an unknown female on the main level of their house.

The intruder said she thought the home was for sale and came inside to have a look.  The homeowner told her to leave and she exited through the front door and was last seen walking northbound on Appleby Line towards New Street.

The homeowner subsequently discovered a quantity of jewelry and cash had been removed from the master bedroom area.

The police were called and their investigation determined the suspect had entered the residence through an unlocked rear door while the couple were in their front yard.

She did not want to be seen but her face was remembered.

The suspect is described as a female of Asian descent.  She is 5’5″, 115 pounds, 25-30 years of age and was wearing a grey fleece jacket and grey pants.

Police are reminding the public that should you encounter someone in your home, DO NOT jeopardize your own personal safety and contact 9-1-1 immediately for assistance.  But what do you do with the doors to your home – lock everything up tight?  All the time?

There are people out there who steal for a living.  Could we not have a judiciary that sentences people to some inconvenience – like 500 hours of community service.  Putting them in jail isn’t going to make a difference – they are just there with their friends while taxpayers pay to keep them locked up.

Community service with some counseling and strict curfews that are enforced. Thieves learn where the punishments are severe and they avoid those communities.  Our judiciary can do this for us.

Anyone with information concerning the identity of the individual involved in this incident is asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 x2315, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting ‘Tip201’ with your message to 274637(crimes).

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Toronto resident makes Region his place of employment; breaks into more than ten business operations. No bail for this one.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 5, 2013   OK – so we are the best mid-size city in the country to live in – but this is taking that just a little to far.

A Toronto resident is facing a plethora of criminal charges for his involvement in numerous break and enters to commercial properties throughout the Region.

Check out this list:

November 9/12 – North Halton Golf and Country Club at 93 Maple Avenue, Halton Hills

 November 9/12 – Sheridan Nurseries at 9674 Winston Churchill Boulevard, Norval

 November 13/12 – Arbor Garden Center at 6556 Trafalgar Road, Milton

 November 13/12 – Agram Garden Center at 2018 Dundas Street East, Oakville

 November 13/12 – White Oaks Golf Club at 1429 Dundas Street East, Oakville

 November 28/12 & December 4/12 – Terra Greenhouses at 12800 Britannia Road, Milton

 December 4/12 – Jade Garden Center at 5532 Trafalgar Road, Milton

 December 9/12 – Terra Greenhouses at 2275 Dundas Street , Burlington

 December 9/12 – Holland Park Garden Center at 2243 Fairview Street, Burlington

 December 15/12 – Petrie and Son’s at 740 Weller Court, Oakville

He did this ten times: must have thought he’d discovered the easiest place in the province to steal in – but they caught him. Toronto resident held without bail.

Most entries yielded the accused a quantity of cash and damage was incurred to the premises themselves.

Investigation led to a search warrant being executed at the residence of the male in January 2013, but efforts to locate him were unsuccessful.

On April 4, 2013 the accused was arrested at his residence and held for a bail hearing.


ACCUSED:  Jonathan ALLAN, 33 yrs of Toronto

CHARGES:  Break, Enter and Theft (seven counts), Break, Enter with Intent (four counts), Fail to Comply with Probation (12 counts), Possession of Burglary Tools  




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Drug Warrant executed in Burlington; not a good Friday for these people.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  March 29th, 2013  The Burlington Strategic Support Team executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at a residence located at 1026 Glendor Ave , Unit 92 in the City of Burlington.

Community in which drug bust took place Good Friday morning.

Police arrested a male and female occupant when they found and seized approximately 614 grams of Marihuana, 27 grams of Cocaine, 13 grams of Psilocybin, a quantity of Oxycodone, $3430 in cash, scales, packaging material and a cell phone.

Arrested in relation to this investigation are:

Bailey FISCHER (21 years old) of Burlington

Taylor GONZALES (23 years old) of Burlington

They were charged with: trafficking a controlled substance (Marihuana), Possession for the purpose of trafficking (Marihuana); Possession for the purpose of trafficking (Cocaine); Possession for the purpose of trafficking (Psilocybin) and Possession for the purpose of trafficking (Percocet/Oxycodone)

Police let them go home when the promised to appear in court when required.  The accused are going to have to rely on drug store over the counter pills to steady their nerves in the weeks and months ahead.

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The coppers are going to turn the lights out – then what? Earth Hour will be recognized but only in Non-Essential Services.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 22, 2013  From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2013 the Halton Regional Police Service will join Halton Region and other municipalities to turn off lights for an hour in non-essential, non-emergency administrative areas. Public safety and police emergency response services will not be compromised or affected in any way.

Recognizing Earth Hour isn’t going to make any difference to the work the Halton Regional Police do – they have flashlights

“We recognize that we all have a role to play in community safety, however our collective contributions should expand to include activities that benefit our respective communities. With that in mind, the Halton Regional Police Service will once again do their part in contributing to Earth Hour initiatives through a focus on non-essential administrative areas,” said Deputy Chief Bob Percy.

Areas which will continue operating business as usual include the Service’s 9-1-1 Operations, Communications, and District Station front desks, as well as other essential police facilities. Non-essential administrative areas will be dark for the hour.

The Service does not anticipate Earth Hour will result in any increase in public safety risks, any more than those presented by a short duration power outage or at night when people retire for the evening.

Although participation in Earth Hour is a personal decision, the Service is also encouraging all its employees and their families to join in wherever feasible at home, as well as at work.


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Solid fundamental police work and a police dog with a good nose finds thieves before police fully aware the bank had been broken into.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  March 20, 2013  They were less than ten minutes from getting away with at least  $300,00 in cash along with documents that looked like passports, coins and jewellery.  Police were responding to a security alarm at a bank on Fairview.

It was Show & Tell time for the Halton Regional Police as they displayed the more than $300,000 in cash that thieves nearly got away with after the broke into a branch of the TD Bank of Fairview early Monday morning.

The alarm, for what is turning out to be the biggest bank break-in this city has ever experienced, came in at 1:00 am Monday March 18th.  Security alarms are all part of what police on night duty contend with – but within seconds the officers responding to the call knew they were dealing with a bank which drew in other patrol cars out on the road.

When police arrived at the bank entrance the doors were secure – but there had been a bank alarm.

The duty officer would have been alerted and additional police cars pulled into the parking lot of the Nicholson Plaza on Fairview immediately west of Walkers Line.

Police would not say how they believe the thieves got out of the building – but if there were cars with lights blazing in the front – the rear of the building would appear to have been how they got out and then crossed the railway tracks.

The first thing the police did was establish a perimeter which in this case meant covering off space on the north side of the railway tracks which complicated things.

The thieves came out of the building on the left and crossed these railway tracks and were found by police dogs amongst trees on the north side of the railway tracks.

The canine unit was brought in even though at that point the police didn’t know what they were dealing with.  While the police officers on the plaza side of the building were checking the front entrance the police officer and the dogs did their routine searches and came across five males hunkered down amongst trees on the north side of the railway tracks and took the men into custody.  Police say none of the five resisted arrest.

In police custody and awaiting a bail hearing on Thursday are:

John HICKEY, 44 yrs of Caledon

Alexander PAPIC, 48 yrs of N.F.A.

Aldo SIMONI, 31 yrs of Scarborough

Mentor VISHJAY, 36 yrs of N.F.A.

Besim RUGOVA, 32 yrs of N.F.A.

Police photo of the hole cut through the floor of a second floor unoccupied office directly above the bank vault.

As the investigation unfolds, and this is still a very active investigation, the police report this was a “very sophisticated and well planned bank break-in.”  The accused had actually gotten away with it and were out of the bank and across a set of railway tracks with the $300,000 in duffle bags before the police were fully aware that a bank had been broken into.

The investigation so far shows that the thieves had taken empty office space on the top floor of the two storey building presenting themselves as workers doing renovations.  It is not known if they actually rented the space or if they had just broken in and did all their cutting and drilling at night

Police report they believe the men were in the space for at least two days prior to their escaping from the building early on the Monday morning.

Walky-talkies were recovered along with construction tools used to cut through the concrete floor.  The doors to the offices on the upper level had very small hallway windows which on the north side of the building were covered over.  There was no building permit anywhere near the offices where the hole was cut through the floor.

There are tenants on the second floor of the building.

The police described this break-in as one with a “degree of sophistication … that is unrivalled” in their experience.  Detective  Donna Whittaker, who has been with the force for 20 years, is still following leads and working with other police jurisdictions to learn if they have come across anything like this.

The thieves appear to have spent a lot of time planning and appear to have known where the weaknesses were in the bank’s security system – and there certainly were weaknesses.  Cutting through a floor and dropping into a bank vault, scooping up hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and then getting out of the building and on the way to vehicles on the other side of the railway tracks suggest there were some delays somewhere.

Expect the bank to be giving the Fairview branch a tight security review.

Tools of the trade for renovators and thieves.

When police first arrived at the bank the entrance doors were secure.  The police were not prepared to say how the thieves left the building but they did report that the men were able to cross the railway tracks and hide amongst trees on the north side of the railway tracks.

The bank, a branch of TD Bank, brought in a senior staff member to meet with safety deposit box holders and, if their box had not been broken into – they were allowed to do whatever they wanted with their valuables.  For those who were looking at a gaping hole where the safety deposit box they rented used to be – there will be all kinds of forms to fill out to describe what was in the box.

Deputy Chief Andrew Fletcher and Detective Donna Whittaker answer media questions during the display of all the cash and other valuable recovered during a bank break-in where the bad guys almost got away.

The police seized an acetylene oxygen tank, concrete cutting tools, repelling equipment, ladders and auxiliary lighting sources.

The police believe they have recovered everything taken from the bank but they may not be certain they have everyone involved in custody.  There were probably lookouts stationed in the parking lot and in the immediate area which is perhaps why the thieves were able to get out of the building before police arrived.

Three of the accused did not have a fixed address and there is the suspicion they are from out of the country.

There was not going to be another un-authorized withdrawal – this officer from the Tactical Rescue Unit watched everyone very closely.

The police were keen to display the cash that almost got away – and they were equally keen that the money didn’t get away a second time.  Two officers from the Tactical Rescue Unit, fully armed, were stationed outside the community room and the Burlington station as well as an officer inside watching  a room full of shifty eyed reporters.




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Daytime home entry in Alton creates chatter and a reminder from the police to be vigilant.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 14th, 2013   There was chatter starting around 1:30 that there had been a daytime robbery at a home in the Alton community.  Late in the day police reported that  a lone black male with lighter tone skin and a muscular build had attempted to break into a home.

An unknown suspect, reported the police, attempted to break into a residence in the Alton Village community of North Burlington. The lone suspect initially approached the front of the residence and knocked on the main door. After receiving no response he then forced the door open.

As the suspect entered the residence he encountered the homeowner inside and he immediately fled from the residence without further incident. The homeowner was not injured during the incident and nothing was stolen from the residence.

The suspect involved in this offence is described as follows:

Male black with lighter skin tone, approximately 6 feet tall with a muscular build. He appeared to be 30–35 years old and was clean-shaven. He was wearing a black toque with a long sleeve shirt which was covered with a camouflage green coloured vest.

Anyone who has information pertaining to this incident is asked to call the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825 4747 ext. 2312, alternatively call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS (8477).

Police are reminding Burlington residents to be vigilant of any suspicious activity occurring near their homes and to call police regarding any concerning behaviour they encounter.


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Were there bullets flying around on Cavendish: Police investigating robbery attempt involving what is thought to be a gun.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 11, 2013.  It was just before 3:00 am on the first day of Spring Break.  Three youths, one male and two females, were on a park bench on a pathway in the Cavendish Upper Middle Road part of the city, when a male wearing a balaclava approached and demanded valuables from the three youths.

The group, the male with two females, refused to give up anything and a scuffle between the male and the assailant took place during which the male victim sustained blunt force injury to his head, face and upper body.

The two females were unharmed, and the suspect fled on foot.

Blunt force trauma can result in serious long-term damage.

The victim was transported to local hospital by ambulance with injuries that are described as serious but non-life threatening.  No shots were fired.  Police conducted a search of the area and the investigation is ongoing.

The suspect is described as a white male approximately  5’5” with an average build, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, and a black balaclava.

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the suspect or a vehicle in the area is asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 ext. 2316 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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This one has been some time coming but the police got them; they usually do.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. March 7, 2013 The police have been investigating a group of thieves that focus on ATM machines – they know how they operate but until yesterday they had not managed to make any arrests.

They created a Project Scorch that used the resources of a number of police forces – ATM break and enter bandits

Police arrested three  people in connection with a string of over one hundred and thirty break and enters to ATM machines that have taken place in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec since October 24th, 2010.

Police knew what these guys were up to but the security cameras didn’t give them enough detail. Arrests were made yesterday – guess they got better pictures.

The Halton Regional Police and Toronto Police Services have worked in partnership over the last two months, culminating in the arrests on yesterday.   A group of people were identified as being responsible for sixty (60) break and enters into ATM machines within the Quebec region and over seventy (70) break and enters within the province of Ontario.  Areas in Ontario that were victimized by this group include Niagara, Hamilton, Waterloo, York, Peel, Durham, Ottawa, Toronto and Halton Regions.

The accused parties used various methods of breaking into the ATM’s including prying, drilling and torching open the machines to remove the cash inside.  A quantity of cash, break and enter tools and two vehicles have been seized as a result. Police have charged the accused parties with over 20 counts of Break and Enter, one count of Participating in a Criminal Organization and multiple counts of Possession of Break and Enter Instruments.

The accused parties are identified as:

William NOLIN, 43 years of age – Niagara resident

Regean LAVIGNE 48 years of age – Laval, Quebec resident

Maxime LAVIGNE 24 years of age – Laval, Quebec resident.  Maxime is the son of co-accused Regean.

NOLIN was arrested in NIAGARA and the LAVIGNE’s were arrested in the City of Toronto on this date.


NOLIN and the LAVIGNE’s are being held for a bail hearing scheduled for Friday March 8th 2013 at the Milton Provincial Court.

A fourth male is being sought in connection with these incidents.  Police anticipate issuing a Canada Wide arrest warrant in the coming days for this individual.  Police continue to investigate these incidents and are anticipating laying several additional charges as information comes to light.

The police will have more to say about this case.

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Computer fraud is rampant – people will call you and offer to fix a problem with your computer – they are after your money.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 5, 2013  There isn’t one of us that doesn’t find at some time that their computer isn’t doing what we wanted it to do and we are flummoxed in figuring out what has gone wrong.  So when someone calls saying they can help – all caution gets set aside and we eagerly answer the questions we are asked by the person who called.

We don’t ask – how does this person know I am having a problem with my computer?   As soon as you have answered the first two questions – they have you.  All that isn’t known is how far they are going to take you and how much of  your money they are going to end up with.  They are not going to fix anything on your computer but, according to the Regional Police they are probably going to install a virus on your computer and then try to convince you to pay them to remove that virus.

The best protection available is you asking questions.

March is Fraud Awareness Month – use the time to think about who you let near your computer.  If you don’t personally know the person calling – hang up.

The Halton Regional Police are warning  the public to be suspicious of any calls they receive from people claiming to be employed by a computer company that has become aware of a problem with your computer – they will tell you it is infected with as virus they can remove.

This is known as the “Anti-Virus Scam” which has been around for several years.  Between March 1st 2011 and August 31st 2012, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received 13,842 complaints of this type with a total dollar loss of $814,511.00.  In most cases, these calls are originating from call centers based outside of Canada.

As part of this scam, the call recipient would be instructed to do a series of keyboard commands that would allow the caller to remotely access the computer over the internet and actually install the “virus” to make the computer appear to be infected.  The caller would then remove the “virus” and request credit card payment anywhere between $35.00 and $469.00 for their services.

In some instances, the same person will call back and report that the version of the security software has expired and request an additional $100.00 to have it re-activated.  They got you once and they figure they can get you a second time.

If you receive an unsolicited call from people telling you that your computer is infected with a virus or that your version of security software is inactive or invalid, you are urged to hang up – this is someone wanting to defraud you of money to fix a problem they may have created.

If you don’t know them – don’t deal with them.

Allowing a third-party, someone you don’t really know, to remotely access your computer, puts you at considerable risk.  They can install software that logs every keystroke you make and capture sensitive data , such as online banking user names and passwords, bank account information and other information to steal your identity.

Police are also reminding the public to be very careful about providing credit card and/or banking information to anyone over the phone and internet, especially in cases where the call was unsolicited.

March is Fraud Awareness Month.  Police ask you to please take the time to educate yourself, your family and your friends on how not to become victims of Fraud.  For further information, please visit www.haltonpolice.ca or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

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Crook scams 88 year old woman for $4,400 – could police develop strategies with the banks to help prevent this type?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 4, 2013  It didn’t happen in Burlington, but it could have easily happened in this city.  This incidence happened in Georgetown and took place in a mall on Guelph Street.

An 88-year-old Georgetown woman has been victimized in an appalling scheme that is designed to confuse the elderly into parting with their own funds.

On February 26, 2013 the victim received a telephone call from a man claiming to be from her financial institution.

The man told the victim that $4400.00 had been withdrawn from her bank account and he suspected a bank teller was involved.

He asked her to attend the branch and withdraw $4400.00 from a ‘dummy’ account that had been set up, in an effort to catch the bank teller in the act.  He instructed her not to touch the money, but to ensure it was put into an envelope so they could get the bank teller’s fingerprints.

The victim did so and returned home to await further instructions from the alleged bank employee.

Mr. Price asked an 88-year-old woman to take $4,400 out of her bank account and meet him in a parking lot to help capture a crooked teller. This happens too often – the police could work with the banks to help educate the seniors.

The man later called her and instructed her to meet him in the mall parking lot on Guelph Street and told her his name was Mr. Price.  The victim waited in her vehicle and a man approached who identified himself as Mr. Price, took possession of the envelope containing the money and told her an arrest would be made.

Following the encounter, the victim returned home and in looking through her bank book, discovered the only money missing from her account was that she withdrew when told to do so by the alleged bank employee.

The suspect is described as white, approximately 60 years of age, short in stature and a slim build.  He was wearing ‘casual’ clothing, dark coloured jacket and possibly a hat.

Residents are reminded that bank employees would never contact clients in this manner or seek their participation in an investigation.  If you are the recipient of such a phone call, contact the police to report the incident.

There is something more than can be done here.  The banks could print out notices that are given out by the tellers to every senior customer that comes into the bank branches.  Seniors are known to prefer going to the bank – rather than bank on-line.  It gives them a chance to get out and they enjoy talking to the tellers.  There would be a really minimal cost to the bank to provide this service,

Cst Wendy Moraghan of the Halton Regional Police Service has been working with seniors for a number of years and has a great relationship with that community. The problem is that Cst Moraghan can’t get face to face with every senior to tell them what to watch out for. But senior police management could be proactive and work with the banks to help prevent bank scams.

A $4,400  hit would hurt anyone – for a senior – devastating and there is no insurance coverage and nothing the banks can do to get this senior her money back.

Something in the way of warning to the seniors would be very useful.  Here’s a project for the Halton Police – communicate with all the banks and ask them to take part in this kind of effort.

We have a police officer dedicated to elder abuse; this will give her something measurably useful to do.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact the One District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 x2415, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).

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Two days after Family Day a Mother and son team arrested following a break-in to a Cavendish Drive home.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON February 28, 2013  During the middle of last week, before the noon hour a break and enter occurred to a home on Cavendish Drive in Burlington.

The front door to the home was physically forced open and the individual responsible removed numerous items of jewellery from within.

A timely response and police investigation resulted in the arrest of two persons at a nearby Burlington residence and the recovery of the stolen items.

Further investigative efforts, including the execution of a search warrant at a Burlington motel led to the discovery of additional stolen items from other break-ins and locker thefts in the Burlington area.

While police have located owners for some of the seized stolen property, they are requesting persons who may have had items stolen in the preceding four months to contact Detective Donna Whittaker at 905 825-4747 x2312.

ACCUSED:  Vezio CARDULLO, 31 of Burlington charged with:  Break, Enter and Theft (three counts), Breach of Probation (five counts), Breach of Recognizance (five counts), Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of Break-in Instruments and Theft under $5000.

ACCUSED:  Christine SMERDON, 57 of Burlington charged with  Break, Enter and Theft.

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