Four men face dozens of charges in a string of brazen daylight home break-ins across the GTA, and in some cases, the suspects allegedly busted in right through the front door.
York regional police believe the suspects – from Mississauga, Toronto and Brampton – are responsible for more than 35 home break-ins since January that mainly occurred along the Highway 407 corridor in places like Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Mississauga.
Police said the majority of the break-ins occurred between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
In April, police discovered a link between 38 home break-and-enters that employed similar outrageous tactics.
“They would knock on the door, and if there was no answer they would either pry the door with the pry bars that were seized, or they would just force the doors,” Det.-Sgt. Don Cardwell said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Police said evidence showed the suspects worked together to commit the alleged break-ins, store the stolen items and then sell the goods for money.
The suspects were in and out of the homes quickly, police said, and in many cases the jewelry that was stolen was melted down the same day.
“They seemed to be targeting high-end homes, they were targeting master bedrooms – obviously for jewelry because it is easily concealable and easily melted after the fact.”
Investigators were able to track down the suspects, who were using rented cars with stolen plates, with the help of surveillance video.
Investigators conducted several search warrants and recovered a “significant amount” of stolen items. Police have set up a website for victims to potentially identify and get back what was taken from their homes.
Jordan Saccucci, 25, and Harun Murad, 32, both from Mississauga; Maurice Beckles, 32, of Brampton; and Jamaar Taylor, 24, of Toronto, face around 65 charges including break-and-enter, possession of property obtained by crime, and in three cases, breach of probation. Taylor also faces firearm charges.
One of the suspects was wanted in another series of break-ins from a year ago, police said.
Police are reminding residents to safeguard their homes and to “make it difficult for a thief to break into your home.” Below are some tips (courtesy of York police):
- Lock your doors and windows when leaving the house
- Don’t discuss the contents of your home with others
- Be aware of suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood and call police if you’re concerned
- Store valuables in a safety deposit box
- Install dead-bolt locks on all exterior doors and self-tapping screws in the upper track of patio doors and windows
- Consider installing a home security system
- Secure all basement and ground level windows and patio doors
- When away for an extended period of time, give your home the lived-in look