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'Massive' theft ring bust yields dozens of charges

Investigation leads to $365,000 worth of stolen property being recovered and 65 charges being laid by Barrie police
Barrie police say a "massive" theft ring has been busted, with $365,000 in property seized, along with 65 criminal charges.

A "massive" theft ring bust by Barrie police has yielded dozens of charges.

According to city police, the theft of speakers from a big-box, membership-based store in Barrie on Feb. 6, valued at approximately $15,000, initiated the start of what would be a massive investigation by detectives from the street crime unit.

The police investigation “quickly identified” an organized theft group from the Mississauga area as being involved, and further information was later received which linked them to a multitude of other ongoing theft investigations of a similar nature throughout Ontario and across eastern Canada.

On March 15, five search warrants were executed, which resulted in the seizure of approximately $365,000 worth of stolen property.

The property seized was later confirmed to have been stolen from other retail outlets which had been targeted by the “sophisticated group of organized thieves,” according to police.

One vehicle, with an estimated value of $55,000, was also seized as a result of the investigation.

Police said two suspects were arrested when the search warrants were executed, and arrest warrants have been issued for three other suspects who have been identified and participated in the high-volume thefts.

As a result of the investigation, a total 65 criminal charges have been laid.

Police said one man, who had been arrested and charged as a result of the Barrie police street crime unit investigation, was held for a bail hearing.

At the time of his arrest, he was before the courts on previous release orders for similar offences, police say.

He was released from custody later in the day, and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.