Ten years ago this month…

Suri Weinberg-Linsky speaking in support of Olympic Variety in September 2010 (file).

Here’s a little taste of what WestonWeb was covering a decade ago.

In September 2010, crime was a big issue with a rash of muggings and a double murder. Eighty people met in support of Olympic Variety in Weston Village. Have we settled down since then? I’d like to think so.

A Weston retirement home was coming under scrutiny – beginning a long saga that (we think) ended last year.

John Tory was about to referee a local mayoral debate for the 2010 civic election. Rob Ford, endorsed by then and current councillor Frances Nunziata was the surprise winner of that race. No doubt Tory foresaw his own 2014 candidacy at that meeting.

Lions Park’s soccer field was undergoing extensive preparations before being covered in artificial turf – it has proved to be an incredibly popular year-round attraction.

Urban Arts had completed a new mural and Toronto Council looked as if it would do something for Weston cyclists. Sadly a golden opportunity to build a path along the rail tracks was lost and ten years later the dangerous ‘Supercentre’ gap in the trail is still there.

Finally, speaking of rail tracks, the Clean Train Coalition (who successfully lobbied for an airport express station in Weston) was rallying in support of electric locomotives for the then unbuilt and unnamed UP Express. That dream is still a few years away although GO electrification plans will allegedly be developed by next year.

Walkers in Weston’s 2010 Pink Parade participate in the seventh annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. (file) Click to enlarge.

Alleged gun traffickers on trial

The trial of two men charged with gun trafficking to a gang with its roots in Weston is underway. In 2018, police arrested Kamar Cunningham and Bill Allison, among many others and seized 60 handguns.

The case is the first major criminal trial to be conducted by Zoom.

Photo from the police

The guns were allegedly sold to members of the Five Point Generals, a gang with a long history in Weston. According to police, the gang had spread across the city and GTA.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

 

Police warn of distraction thefts

12 Division police are warning residents of distraction thefts.

In a recent example, a woman approached a elderly man  and stole his gold necklace by saying that she wanted him to have a necklace of her own. While touching him, she stole his necklace and then quickly fled in a white SUV.

The suspect is described as “white, 40 to 45 years of age, with red hair in a bun… The vehicle they were seen in is described as a white, four door Volkswagen Tiguan SUV.”

 

Toronto Police warn against roofing scam

12 Division police are warning residents of scammers who go door-to-door and tell residents that their houses will be condemned if roofing repairs aren’t done.

The con-artists begin work and hustle the homeowners into doing extensive and expensive repairs, which are never finished.

The police say that five men and one woman are suspects. They were seen using a red F-150 Ford pickup truck and two company names: “PROfix Roofing” and “T-CITY Property Maintenance”

The police say you should be wary of anyone soliciting business door-to-door.

Some closure for the Ogba family.

Readers may remember the brutal, random killing of Brampton electrical engineer Nnamdi Ogba after he visited a friend from his soccer team in Scarlettwood Court back in March 2018. Mr. Ogba had a fiancée and was about to be married. His murder was carried out by three men who decided that someone from the public housing neighbourhood should die because of gang rivalry. In other words it was a cold-blooded act designed to intimidate and repress a community. Mr Ogba’s killing was one in a series that had plagued the people of Scarlettwood Court.

This Toronto Star article outlines the process by which Toronto Police tracked down the three killers (two gunmen and a driver) and brought them to justice. It demonstrates the value of good surveillance video along with determined and expert detective work as well as support from the community.

Yesterday, an automatic sentence of 25 years with no parole eligibility was rendered for the three who were found guilty by a jury last month. Sentencing was done via video link. The judge had harsh words for the killers, calling people who engage in gang rivalries, ‘fools’.

Only one of the three murderers expressed remorse.

Mayor Tory speaks to Nnamdi Ogba’s parents, Margaret Nwsou and Sylva Okzie at a memorial held in Scarlettwood Court in March 2018. (file)

Nothing can bring back Mr. Ogba, however his killing triggered widespread outrage in Toronto. Mayor John Tory attended a memorial held at Scarlettwood in the days after the murder, putting the full weight of his office behind bringing the killers to justice and ending the terror that such crimes inflict on public housing communities.

Let’s hope that Mr. Ogba’s family can take one small shred of comfort that the reaction to Nnamdi’s death may have been a turning point that will prevent the senseless deaths of others.

Lock your cars

Weston has long had a problem with car break-ins. For as long as I’ve lived here, things have gone missing from my car whenever I leave it unlocked. Mercifully, the windows are never smashed—the perpetrators have only ever tested the doors.

The good people over at Weston Village Neighbourhood Watch have reported a recent resurgence in car break-ins. In all cases, it appears to be the same older man trying door-handles and stealing cash. He has been caught on many security cameras, and the police have been alerted.

 

Gun smuggler pleads guilty

A gun smuggler who supplied handguns to a Weston-area gang busted in 2018, has pleaded guilty.

Harris Poyser, 59, of Scarborough, admitted to his role in smuggling 60 cheap guns from Florida to Toronto, where they were distributed with help from members of the Five Point Generalz gang, originally based out of Weston. Poyeser faces a sentence of 10–15 years.

In 2018, police arrested 75 people in “Project Patton”, which included raids at 33 King. Some of the “highest ranking members” of the Five Point Generalz, were arrested in the raids.

From the police

At the time, the police said, “This investigation was based on intelligence that led investigators to suspect that the Five Point Generals were operating as a criminal organization and that they were involved in illegal activities that posed a direct threat to community safety,” he said. “…We allege that the Five Point Generals are a dangerous street gang that, while having roots in the area surrounding Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W., its criminal activities extended throughout Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area and into other parts of the country, the United States and even as far away as the Caribbean.”

Police display seized guns