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  Project Nipigon Seizes Almost $500,000 Worth of Items

May 30, 2013 14:49 ET

An investigation which began in November of 2012 into residential break and enters in Ajax has culminated in numerous arrests and the seizure of approximately $500,000 in property, drugs, cash and vehicles, including a Lamborghini.

Led by the West Division Property Crime Unit, the investigation began on November 28, 2012 after two homes were broken into on Snowling Drive in Ajax during the daytime. Unknown suspect(s) broke in when the homeowners were away and stole a quantity of jewelry, cash and electronics. In one house, all of the wrapped Christmas presents under the tree were stolen.

An alert citizen made note of the license plate of a suspicious vehicle on the street and contacted police.

Members of the West Division Property Unit later executed a Criminal Code Search Warrant at the suspect’s residence on Ventura Lane in Ajax but did not locate the stolen property from Snowling Drive. The suspect was held in custody and was released on bail on December 03, 2013. On December 19, 2012 the charges were withdrawn in court.

The team continued to investigate the suspect and reached out to various other units of the DRPS to assist. Project Nipigon was born and, in the first few months of 2013, detectives investigated the main suspect and his network used to receive the stolen goods.

Through various investigative means, it was determined that the suspect was responsible for numerous residential break and enters across the Greater Toronto Area, including residences in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Burlington and Markham. Several residents of Peel Region were identified who were purchasing the stolen goods.

Wrayal DACOSTA, age 30, of Ventura Lane in Ajax is facing 28 charges in connection with these residential break-ins, including Break and Enter x9 and Breach Probation x12.

In addition, eight people were arrested, mostly from Mississauga, and are facing a variety of charges, including Possession of Stolen Property. Arrest warrants are out for four more people as the investigation continues.

Officers seized seven vehicles in this investigation. They seized a 2007 Lamborghini from DACOSTA under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Six other vehicles, owned by others, including a 2008 Mercedes SUV, were seized as offence-related property. The value of the vehicles is estimated at approximately $275,000.

Officers seized expensive electric guitars, jewelry, electronics (iPads, computers, flat screen televisions), 47 pairs of running shoes and clothing. Attempts are being made to return the valuables to their rightful owners. The estimated value of the stolen property recovered is about $75,000.

Officers also seized 27 lbs of marihuana (worth an estimated $68,000) and $75,000 in cash as part of this project. Total value of all items seized is about $493,000.

Anyone with new information that might assist investigators is asked to contact Det. Mark Price of the West Division Property Crime Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 1924, or Det. Chris Ludlow at ext. 1925.

Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or on the website at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Below are attached files.
nipigon (JPG file, 39.6K bytes)
Deputy Martin addresses the media (JPG file, 354.7K bytes)
Det. Price speaks about the investigation, while Det. Ludlow and Deputy Martin look on (JPG file, 337.8K bytes)
A variety of the items that were seized (JPG file, 468.2K bytes)
Deputy Martin joins some members of the Project Nipigon team - Det. Mason, Det. Price, D/Sgt. Morash and Det. Ludlow (JPG file, 393.9K bytes)