$2.7 million worth of property has been seized after a large scale investigation with Halton Police, Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police and the Canada Border Services Agency into a series of residential break and enters in Halton Region and the GTA. As a result of the investigation, 10 Chilean nationals have been arrested by Halton Police and are facing 45 charges. Another 4 suspects have been arrested in York Region.
The group allegedly broke into 70 residences in Halton Region, and 400 residences across the GTA. Halton Police also alleges that that the group is responsible for 52% of Halton’s residential break-ins in 2018. The suspects would knock on the front door and after waiting would then enter by prying into a rear entry.
Halton Police launched Project Estruendo on March 2 after receiving a tip from an Oakville resident about a break and enter. A subsequent warrant was executed in Toronto, where investigators seized high end jewellery, purses and cash.
In addition, two warrants were also executed in Mississauga and Toronto on March 25 that resulted in the seizure of purses, luggage, handbags, watches, bracelets, rings and various other articles. A fourth search warrant was executed by HRPS on March 28 at a motel in Toronto.
At a press conference today, Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner said that “we’d like to get as much of the property back to the victims. You can imagine how incredibly difficult that can be when we’re dealing with 400 different families across an area such as the GTA.” Tanner said that video surveillance by home and business owners helped to solve the crimes.
In 2015, 12 Chilean nationals were also charged in a string of jewelry and pawn shop thefts.
Anyone who may have information is asked to contact Det. Ron Strauch of the Halton Regional Police Service 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2255.
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.