Police charge six teens in connection with ‘swarming’ robberies in Yonge-Eglinton area
Published Thursday, March 15, 2018 1:43PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, March 15, 2018 4:55PM EDT
Police have arrested six teens in connection with a spree of street robberies that occurred within a one kilometer radius of Yonge and Eglinton.
Officers have described at least seven incidents in the area as “swarming-type robberies involving teenagers targeting other teenagers.” Violent acts were either committed or threatened during each incident.
The robberies occurred between January 17 and March 8, with the most recent incident involving a handgun and a knife.
In total, six people were arrested and 10 charges have been laid. However, police say there are still several suspects outstanding.
The robberies were each conducted by a group of teenagers inside or around Yonge Eglinton Centre. The victims were also in their early teens. In each case, the group isolated the teens before showing them a weapon and demanding their property. They took clothing, cash, and a cellphone.
In some instances, a security guard or Good Samaritans interrupted the attack.
The suspects are between the ages of 14 and 17 and the charges vary from robbery with a weapon to possession of property obtained by crime under $5000. One 17-year-old was charged with possession of a schedule II substance.
None of the suspects can be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Police are warning teenagers and parents to be on the lookout for the remainder of March break. “Teenagers will be out in public more during this time,” a police news release said Thursday. “The Toronto Police is again requesting the public to be vigilant in the area of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue.”
Residents say these are not isolated incidents, and that the number of small assaults and robberies at the intersection is making them concerned about their safety.
“It’s a pity this is happening because we have been living here for many years and it is a safe area, that is what we like about midtown,” said one woman to CP24, who did not provide her name.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.