Victim Partners with Police to Solve Theft

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 9:34 a.m. July 7, 2014

Police partnered with the victim of a theft to retrieve her stolen iPad.

A woman in TPS uniform stands with two men beside a TPS sign
Constable Kay Fydenchuk with Detectives David Yarmoluk and Thomas Imrie

On May 10, at around 7 p.m., Swe Zin Aye saw a man breaking the rear passenger window and stealing clothes and an iPad from her car parked downtown.

She reported the incident to the  Primary Report Intake, Management & Entry (PRIME) unit who assigned it to  52 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Nine days later, the victim alerted police at  55 Division that the “Find iPhone” on her device had been activated, indicating it was in the vicinity at an address on Eglinton Ave. W. in  13 Division.

Following Google searches and checks on the address, Detectives Dave Yarmoluk and Tom Imrie, of 55 Division, went to the west-end address and saw a man and woman on a couch holding an iPad at the location – a commercial storefront.

Both were investigated and denied owning the iPad. They claimed a customer left it behind to be charged.

A search of the location turned up a second iPad and several iPhones. When the second iPad was activated, the display indicated in English and French that the device belonged to Aye.

Three iPhones and an iPad were seized and charges are pending.

“Because of privacy issues, there is a lot of paperwork involved in getting the service provider to let us know if a phone is registered to one of their customers,” said Yarmoluk. “So, we are still waiting on them before we can go ahead and lay charges.

Aye is extremely grateful for the Service’s diligence in tracking down her device.

“They were very helpful all along the way,” she said. “I am so happy to live in a city where the police do their jobs very well. They do their jobs professionally and competently. Officer Dave is the greatest person ever.”

Yarmoluk is pleased that he played a part in helping the victim recover her property.

“I know how I would feel if I lost something as valuable as an iPad,” he said. “To see her face light up when her device was recovered was very satisfying.”

They were very helpful all along the way

Yarmoluk and Imrie, along with Constable Kay Fydenchuk, who provided initial assistance and support to the victim and advised 52 and 13 Divisions of the iPAD’s location, were honoured with 55 Division’s Detective Support Officer of the Month for May.

The recognition was launched at the start of the year.

“This is an opportunity to recognize people who are working for me,” said Detective Sergeant Warren Wilson. “I have about 45 people who are very committed and dedicated to their job and are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

“…To qualify for this award, the work must be self-initiated, value-added and help to keep our neighbourhoods safe. It doesn’t have to be a great investigation, search warrant, debrief or interview, even though they will all be considered. What I am looking for is an initiative our officers are leading, a partnership they are building or extra support for a victim or community.”

The Division has been administering an “Arrest of the Week” award for a few years.

“During our weekly crime management meetings, we talk about the good work our people are doing and vote on the best arrest,” said Wilson. “That’s an informal recognition that we still do and the officers get four hours. When Peter Yuen came here as the unit commander, he suggested we do a monthly award with the officers getting eight hours and their efforts documented. He wanted to take what we were doing to another level.”

Yuen said he’s extremely proud of the work his officers are doing to preserve safety in the Division.

“We want to share our good news stories with the community,” he said. “I also feel that our recognition system needs to be enhanced somewhat to the point where our officers are honoured instantaneously for their outstanding work.”

The Division still picks an Arrest of the Week.

Superintendent Randy Carter, the Strategy Management unit commander with responsibility for Customer Service Excellence, said the public has certain expectations of the police with which they interact.

“These expectations are formed at minimum by past experiences with us, experiences with other service organizations, public information about policing and the community and the experiences of friends and family shared through conversations,” he noted. “This is an example where 55 Division likely not only met the expectations, but exceeded the expectations of the complainant, investigating the crime and locating her property. It further exemplifies the partnership that we dedicate ourselves to commit to in keeping Toronto the best and safest place to be.

“We likely would not have found that property or held anyone to account for a theft or unlawful possession if the complainant had not partnered with us by calling the first time and each subsequent occasion when she continued to learn more. There is every chance this complainant will further engage with the Service, either as a witness in this matter, future matters or as a promoter of the great service she received. We believe it’s that engagement that creates increased confidence and legitimacy in what we do.”

Previous 55 Division Detective Support Officer of the Month winners are Detectives Keri Fernandes, Yoshio McCausland, Andrew Goodine and Vicki Westervelt and Constables Vince Henderson, Rob Muller and Rob McDonald.

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