Arrests in Violent Robberies

By Kevin Masterman, Toronto Police Service Published: 4:40 p.m. December 10, 2014
Updated: 4:41 p.m. December 10, 2014

Hold Up investigators have arrested three out of six people believed to have been involved in the violent robberies and assaults of sex-trade workers in Toronto and Mississauga.

A man stands a podium with a TPS logo
Staff Inspector Mike Earl speaks to the media

The alleged robberies and assaults occurred between October 25 and December 9, when the main suspect was arrested along with two more accomplices. While police are aware of six such robberies, Staff Inspector Mike Earl believes there may be more that have not been reported. 



He is asking women in the sex trade to be vigilant with their security. He is also urging anyone who was the victim of a crime fitting the description to come forward and speak to Hold Up investigators.



“They’re very vulnerable at that time when they believe a customer is coming. Another purpose of this conference is to let the escort workers know that this type of robbery is happening out there and they need to take precautions,” said Earl.

“There very well could be victims out there who are afraid to come forward or reluctant to come forward and this appeal is to them to come forward also.”



Of all such reported incidents, the tactics of the suspects have remained the same, said Earl. The sex-trade workers are contacted through their advertising and arrangements are made to meet at a hotel. On all occasions, a man knocks on the door and, when the victim opens the door, up to five people rush in to rob and assault the victim. 


Staff Inspector Mike Earl briefs the media on arrests connected to violent sex trade worker robberies

The incident that led to the arrest of the suspects occurred on Dec. 9, at 5 a.m. A sex-trade worker was robbed of her belongings, cellphone and clothes by a group of three people. 

She was then sexually assaulted by two of those men. 

Hold Up, 23 Division and the Sex Crimes officers worked together and were able to locate one suspect, Lenford Richards, 20, shortly after 3 p.m. on the same day. 

He was arrested while in a car on Steeles Avenue. At the time of Richard’s arrest, a 29-year-old woman was in the back seat of the car. Police allege that she, too, was a victim of a robbery and assault by the same group and was being held against her will.

According to the 29-year-old victim, who was robbed and forcibly confined on Dec. 9 at 1 a.m., she was abducted by the men because she did not have any money on her. 

The suspects asked her to call her boyfriend for money in exchange for her release. A meeting was decided on but, when the victim’s boyfriend came to drop off the money he was assaulted and robbed of his belongings. The suspects did not release the 29-year-old, until police found her. 


Along with Richards, police also arrested Kevin Baigorria, 22, and a 17-year-old girl. 

Three more suspects remain at large and have been identified as a black man, a white man and a black woman. All three have had some involvement in at least one of the six robberies. 



According to Earl, Richards and the unidentified black man, who is still at large, participated in all robberies while the other four suspects were involved in some.



Lenford Richards, 20, of Toronto, is charged in connection with five robberies, with: 



1) six counts of Robbery 


2) six counts of Forcible Confinement 


3) Weapons Dangerous 


4) five counts of Fail to Comply 


5) Gang Sexual Assault 



Kevin Baigorria, 22, of Toronto, is charged in connection with the first three robberies, with: 



1) four counts of Robbery 


2) four counts of Forcible Confinement 


3) Weapons Dangerous 



A 17-year-old girl, of Toronto, is charged in connection with the first three robberies, with: 



1) four counts of Robbery 


2) four counts of Forcible Confinement



Three people are still outstanding: 


1) a black man, in connection with all five robberies 


2) a white man, in connection with the last two robberies 


3) a black woman, in connection with the first three robberies 



Anyone with information, or victims of yet unreported crimes, is asked to contact police at 416-808-7350, 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.

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