Quick Arrests in Mosque Robbery

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:09 a.m. June 21, 2017

Members of a mosque in 12 Division are praising Toronto Police for making arrests less than 12 hours after a robbery at their place of worship.

A man in TPS uniform with another man
Acting Superintendent Riyaz Hussein with Imam Ibrahim Kureshi

When one of the members was held up in the Masjid El-Noor mosque at knifepoint for their valuables, Imam Ibrahim Kureshi reached out to 12 Division for Superintendent Scott Weidmark, whom he knows. After being told the unit commander had retired, he was referred to A/Superintendent Riyaz Hussein.

Nearly 15 minutes after the robbery, Constables John Barnes and Maria Abdoullaeva were conducting a seemingly unrelated routine traffic stop.

The vehicle was identified as being stolen and the five occupants were arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. Two of the males were charged with additional offences.

Three of them were released on bail and the other two held in custody.

While one of the males was being transported to 12 Division, Sergeant Pat Garrow allegedly discovered a credit card on him with a different name. The bank advised that the card was stolen, however, didn’t release the cardholder’s name or any other further information to police.

The next night, Hussein instructed that two uniformed officers be assigned to the mosque for the late-night prayer service.

I am glad that, through the hard work and teamwork of our Primary Response and Major Crime Units, along with our Criminal Investigation Bureau, we were able to make quick arrests and restore a sense of safety to the Muslim community in 12 Division

While they were there, Garrow and the ‘A’ platoon detective learned that the five males arrested the night before were allegedly responsible for the robbery at the mosque. Officers were dispatched to arrest the three males who were on bail.

“We are definitely happy with the quick arrests and the outstanding work that 12 Division did in solving the case in a quick manner,” said Kureshi. “We have had a few robberies here before, but this one was reported to police and they responded in a timely and very efficient manner.”

Hussein praised his officers for their splendid work. 

“Robbery is an intolerable violent crime to begin with,” he said. “To have occurred at a religious institution is even more aggravating. I am glad that, through the hard work and teamwork of our Primary Response and Major Crime Units, along with our Criminal Investigation Bureau, we were able to make quick arrests and restore a sense of safety to the Muslim community in 12 Division.”

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