A Toronto man has been arrested for his alleged role in a pattern of crimes against the city’s Jewish community that caused over $140,000 in damage, police said Friday.
The arrests follow a monthlong investigation into a series of incidents in which the Jewish community’s surveillance cameras were targeted by vandals wearing masks and carrying hammers, officials said.
The suspect was identified as a 24-year-old man with a criminal record and with ties to a racist group who has an infatuation with “Black Panthers, Black Bloc, and other far-left terrorist organizations,” Toronto police deputy chief Peter Yuen said. He added that the suspect had planned the most recent attack, which police characterized as a “message” to the Jewish community.
Mr. Yuen said the police found more than 180 bullet casings scattered across three locations. But the investigation was relatively limited, he said, because the vandals had limited the duration of the crimes, and chose three easy targets: the homes of Jewish residents who had notified the police of threats posted to Facebook.
[Hundreds of alerts and reports from communities in Canadian cities] “In the last month, the city of Toronto has experienced an attack on its Jewish community which has had a ripple effect in the community,” Mr. Yuen said at a news conference Friday.
Police said they found multiple weapons — including what appears to be a meat cleaver — at one of the addresses, and three defaced cameras. The video that police said was taken at the beginning of the attacks shows people in masks smashing the cameras. In the middle of the second incident, a young girl appears, Mr. Yuen said, and offers help.
Police were assisted by the FBI, who was in the process of discovering the white supremacist’s possible ties to other criminal activity. Canada is a self-governing country with a separate justice system, but the RCMP and Federal Bureau of Investigation share similar resources.
This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.