Two streetlights have been turned off, lawn signs tacked up and people’s mailboxes have been pushed onto the sidewalk with more than 100 different incidents of vandalism reported in Canada’s largest city.
Police have arrested and charged a suspect in connection with crimes that caused $140,000 in “significant and sustained mischief damage” over the past seven months, Toronto police said on their official Twitter page Sunday. Police have yet to publicly name the suspect, pending a news conference on Monday.
Police said Saturday that “a well-known local resident” from Toronto was arrested and charged with criminal harassment, possession of a weapon and uttering threats. Police have also charged the suspect with five counts of mischief over $5,000.
Thieves are breaking into houses, cutting holes in the window and stealing electronics. Police said Sunday that more than $10,000 in items were recovered.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said “someone is trying to cover up their criminal activity and thereby causing unnecessary harm and damage to their local community.
“We will not tolerate hate-motivated property damage and will hold anyone accountable for their actions,” he said.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that one of the incidents targeted a group of Muslims walking to their mosque with their traditional head scarves on.
Wajid Al-Khaldi told CBC News that thieves stole more than $100 worth of goods including laptops, audio equipment and a bottle of orange juice. He said thieves broke in through the front door of their apartment.
“Once you stand up for your faith or religious beliefs, someone will try to destroy your life and prevent you from enjoying your existence,” he said.
CBC reported that of the 105 reports of damage, 47 resulted in arrests.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.