14-years-olds among 10 people charged with 26 armed robberies of pharmacies in Mississauga, Brampton, Halton and Toronto


Published February 15, 2023 at 12:49 pm

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Two Mississauga residents are among 10 young people charged–including a pair of 14-year-old boys–in connection with 26 armed robberies that targeted pharmacies in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Halton and York since December.

Toronto Police released details of the violent, “takeover-style” robberies at a news conference this morning (Feb. 15) at police headquarters in Toronto.

Dubbed Project Mayhem, the multi-jurisdictional investigation, which also included cops in Peel, Halton and York regions, looked into the series of armed robberies that took place between early December and Feb. 10 and used stolen cars to carry out the crimes.

Toronto Police Insp. Rich Harris, of the Hold-Up Squad, said those charged–eight Toronto residents and two from Mississauga–are facing a total of 60 charges, including numerous weapons offences.

“Toronto Police are concerned not only about the sheer number of violent pharmacy robberies taking place, but also the young ages of those involved,” said Harris. “Last year, there was a record number of pharmacy robberies in Toronto – 124 in total. Of those arrested, 69 per cent were young people under the age of 18. So far in 2023, there have been 45 robberies, compared to 11 at this time last year. Of those arrested, 67 per cent are young people.”

Police say officers in Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, Halton and York responded to the more than two dozen robberies that targeted the businesses between Dec. 8 and Feb. 10.

Investigators say that a group of males is believed responsible for using stolen vehicles in carrying out the violent pharmacy heists.

They add that, during the incidents, several males entered the pharmacies and committed “takeover-style” robberies.

“They would rush in and make demands for both narcotics and cash,” Toronto Police said in a news release. “In some incidents, they used a handgun and others they used a knife or physical violence to control any shoppers or employees inside the stores.”

Those responsible for the heists would then flee the area in stolen cars, police believe.

During what police call an “extensive investigation,” officers made multiple arrests, including several during “high-risk takedowns,” on four different dates–Jan. 24, Jan. 30, Feb. 9 and Feb. 10.

Last Friday (Feb. 10), police say arrests were made after seven pharmacy robberies that took place in Halton and Toronto.

In one case, police made arrests while a robbery was being carried out.

In addition to the arrests, police also recovered a loaded handgun, replica handguns, drugs and other items.

Jahshaide Clarke, 20, of Mississauga, is charged with 11 counts of robbery, 11 counts of disguise with intent, use firearm during commission of an indictable offence and several other related offences.

A 17-year-old boy, also of Mississauga, is charged with numerous offences including 10 counts of robbery, 10 counts of disguise with intent, use firearm during commission of an indictable offence, carry concealed weapon and possession of a loaded, prohibited firearm.

As a young offender, he cannot be named.

Nathan Kelly, 20, Terrance Timm, 19, and Armani Brown, 18, all of Toronto, are facing various robbery- and weapons-related charges.

Five other Toronto boys, two aged 14 and the others aged 15, 16 and 17, are all facing multiple counts of robbery and various other charges.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7350 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

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