TIMMINS – FIVE ARRESTED, 250 THEFT-RELATED CHARGES LAID

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Five people are facing nearly 250 charges after an alleged break-in spree last year.

A joint investigation between Timmins Police and the South Porcupine OPP linked about 60 break-ins at seasonal and rural residences. Police say the estimated dollar value of the stolen goods is more than $250,000. There was also about $50,000 in damage to properties during the thefts.

The incidents happened in 2018 from mid-September to late December, and police believe some of the stolen goods may have been sold online.

The thefts took place in a variety of areas.

OPP acting Det. Sgt. Mark Donnelly said residences on the west side of Timmins and down Highway 144 were targeted, as well as those down Highway 101, and the Gibson Lake and Connaught areas.

“A lot of the properties were unoccupied, they were seasonal cottages or residences that people had and they chose, it seems, that time of year because a lot of people had closed their cottages and they weren’t staying there because the weather had started to turn,” Donnelly said.

The investigation into the break-in spree started with Timmins Police.

Chief John Gauthier said the benchmark occurrence is an “investigative achievement”.

“In my policing experience, I can tell you that the demands placed on modern policing agencies are more intense, more complex and more challenging now than at any other time in recent memory. From my own personal perspective and based on the number of years working in criminal investigations, I can tell you with certainty that property crimes of this size and scope rarely result in the level of investigative success that we’re able to expand on today,” said Gauthier.

He noted the bulk of the stolen goods have been returned or are being returned to its rightful owners.

Some of the stolen items may have been sold online, though.

OPP are asking people to contact them if you bought items on Facebook from September to December from the accused or a Patrick Paul Ferrari, which police believe is an alias used online.

Donnelly said they are only hoping to recover stolen items.

“If you’re unsure if you’ve had an interaction with any of the people that are involved in the investigation and it’s during that time frame, please give us a call. We can try and identify if the item you are in possession of is stolen or if it was legitimately acquired, but right now there’s just so much property involved that we’re not sure if the stolen stuff was sold or if it’s been given to somebody else,” said Donnelly.

From the investigation, Donnelly said items police believe were used to commit the crimes were also seized. They include a pick-up truck allegedly used to attend the crime scene and transport stolen property, about $8,000 in Canadian currency, and a computer, which is being forensically audited.

“We anticipate that there’s going to be a significant amount of evidence on there, whether it’s photos of some of the stolen property items or some of those transactions,” Donnelly said.

Because the results of the seized computer’s forensic audit aren’t known yet, he couldn’t say what specifically may have been sold online.

Generally, he said the most common items are tools or electronics.

“Those are some of the higher-end items that would be easier for them to sell online and that there would be a larger demand for that sort of thing especially during the Christmas season as people were looking for gifts,” he said.

While five people have been charged, Donnelly believes there are more people with information about the break-ins.

“I think there’s still other people that have knowledge of the crimes, whether they were specifically involved in assisting the accused is a different story, but it’s possible that there are other people involved in committing,” he said.

Police are looking for the owner of a set of keys, who they believe may have information to help with the investigation.

The recovered keys are on a black lanyard with Northern Ontario Expo written in white font.

OPP are also still investigating a Nov. 28, 2018, break-in in Foleyet where four guns were stolen. The items are a: .303 British Enfield bolt action rifle; 12-gauge Winchester pump action shotgun; 12-gauge Russian made single shot break action; 20-gauge Russian single-shot break action; and a red 2010 Honda, 32-inch snow blower with tracks.


The OPP and Timmins Police are heralding what they call “a property crime enterprise that is effectively dismantled”.

A joint investigation into 60 break-ins between September and December resulted in the arrest of five Timmins people; 250 criminal charges; and a quarter-million dollars in stolen goods being returned to their rightful owners. Those are from homes and cottages that police say were often cleaned out.

Timmins Police Chief John Gauthier is effusive with his praise for investigators from both agencies.  He says the outcome sends a simple message to criminals.

“That there are serious and dedicated police officers who are diligently focused on locating criminals,” he comments, “and having them held to account for the destructive nature of their actions.”

OPP Acting Detective Sergeant Mark Donnelly says a lot of the items stolen from cottages and rural homes were put up for sale on social media.

“If you purchased items on Facebook between September 2018 and December 2018 from any of (those arrested and charged),” Donnelly advises, “ or from someone by the name Patrick Paul Ferrari, which we believe is an alias used, you may have purchased stolen items.  We don’t believe anyone by that name exists.”

A computer believed to be used to sell the goods has been seized.  So has a pick-up truck that investigators say was used as a look-out and to move the stolen items.


The people charged are:

Noah Cabral, 19, of Timmins
– Possession of break-in instruments

 

Patrick Comeau, 32, of Timmins
– Possession of break in instruments;
– 24 counts of break, enter dwelling house-commit indictable offence;
– Possession obtained by crime over $5,000;
– 23 counts of possession obtained by crime under $5,000;
– 3 counts of mischief over $5,000;
– 15 counts of mischief under $5,000;
– 3 counts of trafficking in stolen goods under $5,000

 

Michael St-Louis, 50, of Timmins
– Possession of break in instruments;
– 21 counts of possession obtained by crime under $5,000;
– 21 counts of break, enter dwelling house – commit indictable offence;
– 2 counts of mischief over $5,000;
– 13 counts of mischief under $5,000

 

Therese St-Louse, 40, of Timmins
– 21 counts of possession obtained by crime over $5,000;
– 21 counts of break, enter dwelling house – commit indictable offence;
– 2 counts of mischief over $5,000;
– 13 counts of mischief under $5,000.

 

Wieslaw Woloszyn, 38, of Timmins
– 21 counts of possession obtained by crime under $5,000;
– 21 counts of break, enter dwelling house – commit indictable offence;
– 2 counts of mischief over $5,000;
– 13 counts of mischief under $5,000.

 

They are expected to appear in Timmins court to answer to the charges.


photo credit: Timmins O.P.P Facebook
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