Hamilton police charge woman, teen for ATM thefts with help from Brant County OPP

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Hamilton police has laid numerous charges against a Hagersville woman and a Six Nations teenager for business break and enters and ATM thefts likely connected to similar incidents in Brant and Brantford going back to January 2017.
On May 1, 2018, Hamilton Police Service sent out a press release announcing officers had made two arrests in the process of investigating “a rash of early morning break and enters targeting ATM machines” in Hamilton and the surrounding area.
The businesses victimized by the break and enters were rammed using stolen vehicles. The suspects would then tether the ATM inside the business to the vehicle and drag it away. The stolen vehicles were often found later, a great distance away in another jurisdiction, destroyed by fire.
Hamilton police say that its investigators – working with the County of Brant OPP and other members of Project Shutdown, a multi-jurisdictional task force targeting auto theft – have arrested and charged a 23-year-old woman from Hagersville in Haldimand County and a 16-year-old male from Ohsweken in Six Nations of the Grand River. The woman faces 31 criminal counts, while her teenaged accomplice has been charged with 28 counts.
Hamilton Const. Lorraine Edwards said that the charges listed pertain to the incidents in Hamilton only.
The woman won’t be identified by police, Edwards said, because to do so could identify the teenager, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Some of the charges are related to the break and enter at Turtle Jacks, 1180 Upper James St. on Feb. 7 and Spring Grill House, 1441 Upper James St. on Feb. 13, but Hamilton police say the investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, in a report due to be presented on Wednesday to the Brant County OPP Police Services Board, Acting Inspector Jim Millson wrote that “the Brant-Oxford Community Street Crimes Unit (CSCU), West Regional Criminal Support Unit and area police partners has netted five suspects charged with hundreds of offences in the County of Brant, Brantford, Hamilton and Waterloo.”
“These charges relate to the extensive string of truck and ATM thefts this spring and, while more work remains in the investigation, the ATM/truck theft rings appear to have been put out of business,” Millson said.
Millson singled out County of Brant OPP analyst Caitlin Gold for playing “a major part” and spending countless hours “identifying and linking all of the suspects and locations into targeted groups for the investigators.”
The five suspects charged which Millson referenced have yet do be announced.
One of the earliest cases of an ATM being stolen was on Jan. 28, 2017 at the Esso gas bar, 693 Colborne St. W., in the County of Brant at around 4 a.m.
Two days later, at approximately 12 a.m., a pickup truck was used to ram the front doors of a business in the 200-block of King George Road in Brantford. The suspects stole an ATM machine and fled the area.
A short time later, police officers found the ATM machine and pickup truck, which was on fire, in Norfolk County. OPP officers learned the truck had been reported stolen from Woodstock.
On March 4, 2017, Brantford police responded to a report of a stolen ATM after 4 a.m. on Colborne Street West at a Shoppers Drug Mart.
Investigators says a crew of thieves used a pickup truck to break through the front window of the store just after 4 a.m., then stole the ATM and took off dragging the ATM behind the truck.
Norfolk County OPP report that the stolen ATM machine was found the next days near Townsend on Concession Road 3 near Cemetery Road.
The RBC bank in Oakland had ATMs stolen from it twice last year in a similar manner on Aug. 5 and Dec. 5, according to the Brant OPP.
In St. George on Feb. 26, 2018, Brant OPP investigated the theft of an ATM from Food Town grocery store.
On March 26, 2018, Brantford police investigated an ATM theft at a Paris Road business. Officers later found a suspect vehicle on fire on Coronation Street.
Project Shutdown also includes members from Six Nations Police, Brantford Police Service and Halton Police Service.
On April 20, the OPP said that since January 2017, thieves have targeted 58 businesses in the Brant, Waterloo, Hamilton, Owen Sound and Niagara areas. The damage caused at each incident ranged from $20,000 to as much as $250,000.
If anyone has information about these incidents, contact the County of Brant OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave a message at http://www.crimestoppers-brant.ca where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

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