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@TorontoPolice Robbery investigation by Hold Up

Several arrests in cellphone store Robberies, Matrix Bandits Hold Up 416-808-7350 On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, Inspector Lauren Pogue of Hold Up provided an update on numerous ongoing cellphone store robbery investigations. The news conference can be viewed on Toronto Police YouTube channel. Toronto Police Service Hold-Up investigators would like to make the public aware of the investigation into 32 cellphone store robberies that occurred in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Toronto, York, Peel, Halton and Hamilton. The investigation into this group, called the Matrix Bandits, began in December 2018 and ran for six months culminating a total of 13 search warrants, 22 males arrested, and 278 charges laid. It is alleged that: - during the robberies between two and five males entered the stores, controlling the employees and customers thru the use of weapons, threats and zip ties - the employees were ordered to fill large gym bags with cellphones and the males fled the scenes utilizing stolen vehicles - new members of the criminal group were recruited through the use of social media platforms - robberies escalated and used different methods, clothing and expanding the area where they occurred The boys ranged from 15 to 17 and the men as old as 25, some of the accused had no previous contact with the police. Toronto Police Hold Up investigators took the lead in a joint investigation involving the York Region Police Hold Up Unit and Peel Region Police Central Robbery Unit, Halton Regional Police Robbery Unit and with the assistance of Toronto Police Service 31 and 32 Division Major Crime Units. The project resulted in charges in relation to 23 cellphone store robberies, two carjackings, a street robbery and seven thefts of vehicles from Toronto, York, Barrie and Halton. Investigators are still investigating nine unsolved cellphone store robberies in the GTA, Inspector Lauren Pogue released a security camera video from one of them during the news conference. It is reported that: - on Monday, February 11, 2019, two males entered a cellphone store located in the Lawrence Avenue West and Allen Road area - the males assaulted both the store employee and a 83-year-old customer with a baton - the males fled with numerous phones The security camera video can be viewed here on the Toronto Police YouTube channel. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7350, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World. For more news, visit TPSnews.ca. Constable Caroline de Kloet, Corporate Communications, for Inspector Lauren Pogue, Hold Up
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