$100K Stolen Retail Recovered

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:04 a.m. March 28, 2014
Updated: 10:12 a.m. March 28, 2014

Police have cracked a major shoplifting ring extending from London to Durham Region.

Cameras, an espresso machine, clothing on a table
GoPro cameras, espresso machines and clothing were seized by police during search warrants

During search warrants executed on March 23 at several residences in Toronto nearly $100,000 of retail merchandise was seized.

It’s estimated that almost $200,000 worth of electronics and clothing were stolen in the last seven months.

Loss-prevention staff at retailers alerted police to the ring that has been operating since September 2013.

The stolen property includes high-end cameras, dishes, ornaments and clothing.

At a press conference at  23 Division on March 27, Superintendent Ron Taverner said the investigation is ongoing.

“We know there are other people involved in this ring,” he said. “Hopefully, we will recover a lot more property, which we know has been stolen.”

It’s alleged that those involved would attend various stores, select items and then conceal them under their clothing before leaving the retail establishments.

“Stores have security measures in place,” Taverner said. “But organized rings can sometimes breach security measures.”

A man in TPS uniform speaks to a woman holding a microphone and a man holding a video camera
Superintendent Ron Taverner speaks to the media about the retail thefts

Detective Constable Melissa Duncan, the lead investigator, said she has received several calls this week from businesses who allege this group was involved in thefts at their stores.

“Loss prevention teams are looking at this group for a large number of thefts from their retail stores,” said Duncan. “I think what we have seized is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Piotr Ruta, 53, Jan Brzezinski, 57, and Barbara Brzezinska, 58, all of Toronto, have been charged with theft and possession of property obtained by crime.

Anyone with information can contact police at (416) 808-2300; Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at  222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Table with boots and bedding in packaging on it
Boots, bedding were among items seized by police
TPS crest watermark