Youths arrested in failed armed robbery

Four teenage boys have been arrested and taken to Toronto Police’s 55 Division after shots were fired in an East York apartment building Tuesday.

The arrest took place in the Coxwell Avenue and Gerrard Street area, where the police’s emergency task force surrounded an apartment complex, taking the suspects into custody shortly after 3:00 p.m.

According to Constable Tony Vella, police heard gunfire as they closed in on the apartment building.

“When officers were near the apartment, they heard gunshots go off in the apartment. No shots were fired by police,” Vella said.

Police were originally responding to a report of an armed robbery in the area. A 20-year-old man called in to report he was approached by three male youths, who attempted to rob him at gunpoint, Const. Vella said. The robbery was unsuccessful.

“(An) officer spoke with the victim and the victim provided … a description of all three boys,” he added.

Officers from 55 Division recognized the descriptions and focused their investigation on an area apartment building.

Police reviewed security footage from the apartment and found three suspects matching the victim’s descriptions, Const. Vella said.

“They actually captured the three boys, fitting descriptions perfectly, walking into the building and you can actually view them walking into an apartment. At that point, the apartment was surrounded by police,” Vella said.

A fourth youth was arrested outside the apartment and a 38-calibre handgun was recovered.

Four youths, including a 17 year old and three 16 year olds, were taken into custody. They are facing numerous gun-related and robbery charges including:

  • Weapons dangerous;
  • unauthorized possession of a firearm;
  • possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized;
  • possession of firearm obtained by the commission of an offence;
  • careless use of a firearm;
  • possession of marijuana;
  • possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition.