Toronto man charged in 4 York Region break-ins while people were home, some jewelry recovered

A Toronto man has been arrested and charged after four break-ins in York Region in which people were home when the crimes happened, police say.

All of the break-ins occurred in May. Two happened in the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, while the other two happened in Richmond Hill.

Jewelry, clothing and accessories were stolen, police said in a news release on Tuesday. The jewelry included watches and rings.

The accused, 25, has been charged with four counts of committing a break and enter, one count of possession of property obtained by crime and one count of failure to comply with a probation order.

According to police, the first break-in happened in the area of Greenvalley Circle and Blue Ridge Trail in Whitchurch-Stouffville on May 19. Police were called to a residential alarm at about 4 a.m. A man was seen leaving the area in a grey Mazda 3.

Later that morning at about 9 a.m., the second break-in happened in the same area. Police said they reviewed video surveillance, identified a suspect, then arrested and charged him.

A photo of two watches police recovered during a search. (Submitted by York Regional Police)

Police say they then linked the man to two other break-ins in the area of Chalmers Road and Castleridge Drive in Richmond Hill.

A search warrant was issued and officers recovered several stolen items. Investigators have not yet linked some of the recovered jewelry to a particular offence.

Police are urging any victims who have not yet come forward to contact them so they can identify recovered property. Police have released photographs of some of the recovered watches and rings.

“Please contact investigators if you observe your stolen property,” police said in a release.

As they continue to investigate, police said they encourage homeowners to take steps to keep their homes safe.

“Break and enters are often crimes of opportunity, so the less appealing and the more difficult you make it for thieves to break in, the more likely they are to move along,” they said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact York Regional police at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7541, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.