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5 charged in recent smash-and-grab Markham jewelry store robbery attempt, including 3 youths

A York Regional Police patch is shown Dec, 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey A York Regional Police patch is shown Dec, 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey
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Three youths and two 18-year-olds are facing charges following an alleged attempted smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Markham earlier this week.

At around 5 p.m. on Feb. 12, York Regional Police said they received a call about “suspicious people” in a jewelry store in the Yonge Street and Doncaster Drive area. Upon arrival, police say that they located three males and placed one, who was in possession of a hammer, into custody. Two other suspects fled the scene in a vehicle that police later determined was stolen in a violent Toronto-area carjacking.

On Wednesday, investigators, York Regional Police emergency response crew members, police aviation and a K-9 unit located the vehicle at a grocery store parking lot in Whitby and arrested its five occupants.

Police said a replica firearm was located on one of the accused, and following the execution of two search warrants, investigators seized a loaded handgun from one of the residences.

The suspects charged include 18-year-old Kayron Walters of Ajax and 18-year-old Tafiyah Eccleston of Oshawa. A 16-year-old male from Ajax, a 16-year-old female from Brampton and a 17-year-old male from Oshawa are also facing charges, and their identities are protected under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Their charges include conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession of property obtained by crime and unauthorized possession of a firearm with ammunition.

The arrests come as Toronto-area police continue to investigate similar incidents of smash-and-grab robberies over the past few months. In these cases, suspects often enter a store armed with hammers used to smash display cases open and steal the jewelry inside.

Last year, a Brampton jewelry store was targeted by suspects twice in a two-month period.

There have been at least four reported smash-and-grab robberies in the Greater Toronto Area since January, including a store at Sherway Gardens where robbers smashed display cases and stole an undisclosed amount of items. No arrests have been made in that incident.

Police are asking anyone with information about Feb. 12’s incident to contact York Regional Police Hold-Up Unit at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

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