5 most-read Hamilton crime stories of 2022


Published December 27, 2022 at 12:00 am

hamilton crime 2022 magic mushrooms siu hamilton police cops tim hortons phone recording cat stolen pizza delivery hamilton
Crime doesn't pay, but it does get the public's attention. Here are the five most-read Hamilton crime stories of 2022.

Police in Hamilton were busy in 2022.

This list was compiled with one caveat: out of respect for their families, stories involving death and killings were not included.

While those stories are available throughout the website because they are still news, it didn’t feel right to remind those families of their tragic loss for the purposes of a year-in-review, particularly during the holidays.

So, with that, here are the five most-read Hamilton crime stories of 2022:

5. Hamilton’s first magic mushroom shop raided by police, 1 day after opening

Intrigue in psychedelics is the highest we’ve seen in decades due to the loosening of laws around the studying of psilocybin and psilocin, the active chemicals in magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances.

In fact, magic mushroom shops have been sprouting throughout the country in a capitalistic race to what many believe is an inevitable full-blown legalization, based on the rate at which scientists are exploring its therapeutic benefits.

So on Dec. 12, 2022, Hamilton got its first-ever magic mushroom shop. On Dec. 13, it was raided by police, and two on-site individuals were arrested.

The Mushroom Cabinet at 1459 Main St. East received plenty of media coverage for its ambitious — albeit still illegal business venture.

hamilton mushroom shop magic mushrooms the muchroom cabinet psilocybin psilocin

Psilocybin and psilocin are controlled internationally under the United Nations Drug Control Conventions and in Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. So it’s no surprise that the magic mushroom shop faced the same legal and law enforcement scrutiny that cannabis dispensaries did before federal legalization.

The Mushroom Cabinet sold its product in capsule, edible, mushroom, and powder form.

It turned out police had already been investigating the shroom shop before its grand opening.

“Three hours into the second day of the store’s operations, Hamilton Police had a warrant to shut the business down,” reads an official statement from law enforcement. “Hamilton Police remind the public that psilocybin remains a schedule III drug and a restricted substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act.”

RIP The Mushroom Cabinet… for now.

4. Hamilton officer was right to tackle hammer-wielding woman, SIU concludes

In early September, a Hamilton Police officer was cleared by the province’s watchdog after tackling a hammer-wielding woman in the spring.

At around 3 p.m. on May 6, Hamilton Police Service responded to a call about a disturbance downtown near the Wesley Day Centre on Catharine and Rebecca streets.

A 39-year-old woman claimed her wallet had been stolen, and growing impatient, she picked up a hammer and ran towards the alleged thief before being tackled by officers.

Unfortunately, the woman suffered a dislocated pelvis and broken hip.

SIU Director Joseph Martino concluded that the officer was justified in tackling the hammer-wielding woman.

“In light of the Complainant’s angry demeanour, threatening utterances, and possession of a hammer, the (officer) had grounds to seek her arrest,” he concluded.

The tackle, Martino found, was an exercise of reasonable force in the name of public safety.

3. Hamilton voyeur suspect arrested after cellphone found recording in Tim Hortons washroom

Hamilton Police arrested 27-year-old Daniel St. Amour in late September after a cellphone was found recording inside the female washroom of an east-end Tim Hortons.

The investigation began after the phone was found inside a washroom stall at the 30 Queenston Rd. location. Police say the phone was hidden under toilet paper.

As if recording women using the toilet wasn’t bad enough, police say the phone was discovered shortly after a young child used the stall.

It turned out St. Amour already had warrants for his arrest due to theft and possession charges. He was also wanted by police in the Halton Region for failing to appear in court.

2. Hamilton family alleges pizza delivery guy took their cat

Never mess with a person’s child or pet.

A Hamilton family was frantically searching for their cat, who they believed was taken by the pizza delivery guy.

The Belforte family and their friends took to social media in early April to ask for help finding Dwight. They claimed surveillance footage showed their pet getting picked up and taken away by the driver who delivered their pizza a few days before.

The family contacted the pizza place and was connected with the driver, who, they say, told them he let the cat go in the area of Gordon Drummond Ave. and Kennard St., which border Stoney Creek — about 10 km away from their home in the Rosedale neighbourhood.

cat Hamilton pizza

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending.

With the help of residents and Dream Team, an organization that reunites lost and runaway pets with their families, Dwight was returned to his family less than a week after his disappearance.

1. Police respond to ‘serial killer’ social media post targeting tattooed women in Hamilton, Halton

In a prime example of how misinformation can spread like a virus, our most-read Hamilton crime story of 2022 was, in fact, a police response to misinformation.

The Hamilton Police Service issued the response in April after a viral social media post alleged a serial killer is targeting tattooed women in the Hamilton and Halton areas.

The viral post suggested women in their thirties and forties were being targeted and that there is a connection between the alleged serial killer and two missing persons – Stacie Rasberry and Emily Bailey.

Police respond to 'serial killer' social media post targeting tattooed women in Hamilton, Halton

Police said the accusation was baseless.

“Investigators can confirm there is no evidence to suggest there are connections between outstanding missing persons in Hamilton or our neighbouring police services at this time,” said Hamilton Police.

Stacie Rasberry was last seen in Niagara on Feb. 19, 2022. Police confirmed that she received medical assistance and checked into a shelter under the name Sarah Marlowe. Rasberry reportedly wore a black coat, a red toque with a pom-pom, a pink scarf, and brown boots with fur around the tops.

Friends and family reported Emily Bailey missing on Jan. 10, 2022. Police say Bailey’s disappearance was “out of character.” She was last seen “leaving an acquaintance’s house” in the Weir St. North area in Hamilton the morning after attending a New Year’s Eve party.

Investigators still believe some individuals know what happened to Emily and have encouraged them to come forward.

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