Police are asking for public assistance for any information in the theft of a sword from a historical war memorial at the Malvern Collegiate Institute.
A video has been released of the incident and is being shared through media outlets and on social media.
Detective Keri Fernandes, of 55 Division, said police are hoping people who live in the area are able to identify the suspects after viewing the video.
“People should take pride in this Canadian historical monument and the suspects should take responsibility of their actions and return the sword so the statue can be restored to what it was,” she added.
The theft and vandalism occurred at around 4 a.m. on Saturday, August 23, where a group of six people were caught on video surveillance approaching the cenotaph. One individual proceeded to climb the statue, which is elevated 15 feet off the ground, and remove a sword from it.
The group of individuals are also seen taking cellphone video and photos of the theft.
“The video is a pretty big clue,” said Fernandes, adding that people who know the individuals will recognize them in the video.
The memorial was erected in 1922 to memorialize 25 Malvern students who died in World War I. It was previously vandalized in 2011 and repair costs were covered by community members after the school board couldn’t pay for repairs.
While the sword was easily removable, as can be seen in the video, a portion of the historical monument was damaged, said Fernandes.
“It’s in poor taste, whether it’s a prank or not. It’s disrespecting people who died in World War I,” said Constable John Morrie, of 55 Division.
The suspects are described as follows:
- suspect 1 is a man, brown, 18-20, black hair styled up and shorter at the sides
- suspect 2 is a man, white, 18-20, with a shaved head
- suspect 3 is a man, white, 18-20, with dark, short hair
- suspect 4 is a woman, white, 18-20, with long, brown hair
- suspect 5 is man, white, 18-20, with dark-brown hair
- suspect 6 is a woman, white, 18-20, with light-blonde or light-red hair
Anyone with information should contact police at 55 Division at 416-808-5504 or call reach police anonymously via Toronto Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.