Arrests made in brazen smash-and-grab robberies

Arrests made in brazen smash-and-grab robberies

Five men have been arrested and charged in connection with a series of robberies across the GTA this past summer, including that of Prada, a high-end designer store on Toronto’s “Mink Mile.”

The robberies have all been categorized as “smash and grabs” as the suspects, in at least two cases, used vehicles to crash into the store window during the shop’s closing hours. Items from the store were stolen before the suspects raced away from the scene.

In total nine businesses were robbed including Prada on Bloor Street, Sporting Life at Sherway Gardens, Riders Choice in Mississauga and several businesses in York Region. All of the thefts occurred between Aug. 30 and Sept. 18.

Police investigating the Riders Choice robbery on Sept. 18 said they believed the robbers used a white Mercedez-Benz to ram the glass doors of the store. Surveillance footage from a security camera in the store showed suspects loading a vehicle with merchandise from the motorcycle gear shop.

Peel Regional Police spokesman Sgt. Matt Small said at the time that a “large quantity” of motorcycle gear was taken, and the store sustained about $10,000 in damage.

About 24 hours earlier, thieves crashed a stolen Ford pickup truck through the front entrance of a Sporting Life store at an Etobicoke mall. .

The suspects loaded the truck with merchandise, including expensive Canada Goose jackets, but the truck wouldn’t budge, so they ditched it and fled in a waiting vehicle.

The investigation included the work of several police units from Toronto and Peel regions.

As a result, police executed four search warrants and arrested five people on Oct. 3.

Three suspects from Toronto have been identified as Sebastian Sapeta, 39, Piotr Wroblewski, 34, and Stanislaw Sieczka, 37.

The other two suspects are Tomasz Paliwoda, 30, of Brampton and Lalko Wojciech, 36, of Mississauga.

Together the five men face 28 charges relating to breaking and entering and possession of property obtained by crime.