Stolen snow blowers from Renfrew located near Toronto in province-wide crime spree

Renfrew — Layton Knight-Locke could only shake his head and smile when he was informed an arrest had been made in relation to the theft of two snow blowers from his business on Highway 60 in Renfrew’s west end.

When asked how he felt about the capture of the culprit who made a cross-provincial crime-spree and a second man who was treated for a dog bite before surrendering to members of the Durham Regional Police Service near Toronto, he grinned and said “he got bit by a K9 dog…karma has a way of coming around to bite you.”

A spokesperson for the Durham Regional Police Service confirmed one arrest was made and the second man was still at large. A Perth man is facing numerous charges after fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle last Tuesday (March 8) night.

Mr. Knight-Locke’s part in this jurisdictional crime spree began in the early hours of that same Tuesday morning, March 8, when surveillance cameras at his business recorded two unidentified men stealing the snow blowers and loading them on to a red pickup truck. He shared this footage with authorities.

“Sometimes Facebook and social media do have benefits because once that footage was posted online it was shared by so many people and that helped lead to the capture of the thieves and the truck and trailer they stole,” he said. “I want to thank everyone who shared our posts. There were hundreds of shares and it was a huge contributing factor to these low life’s getting caught. By sharing our posts, we learned that these guys had used the red truck to steal snow blowers in the Renfrew area and that’s why they needed to ditch it.”

By late Tuesday evening, the stolen snow blowers, along with other items, had made their way to the Oshawa area and it didn’t take long for the thieves to be discovered. Around 11 p.m., members of the Durham Police Services responded to a theft of a trailer at an RV center on Rundell Road in Clarington.

An officer arrived quickly and when attempting to stop the suspects, the stolen vehicle, a white pickup truck, rammed the cruiser before fleeing. The stolen truck and trailer drove off at a high rate of speed in Durham followed by Air1 helicopter. Police say at one point the suspects stopped in an attempt to unload the stolen trailer. A K-9 unit attempted to confront the suspects; they returned back into the vehicle and drove off almost running over the officer and his dog.

Air1 followed the stolen vehicle westbound on Highway 401 into Toronto. The suspects eventually ditched the vehicle on Thorncliff Park Road in Toronto and fled on foot evading police. However, Detective/Constable Wright and his partner, Police Services Dog (PSD) Hawk tracked the suspects to a nearby apartment and apprehended the passenger. The driver fled on foot and once again evaded capture.

Before the passenger was apprehended, PSD Hawk was sent in advance of the arresting officers to try and force the men out of the apartment unit. The unidentified man was treated at a hospital for a bite wound and released. The driver of the vehicle was eventually captured a short time later and was also treated for a bite wound while attempting to avoid capture.

James Scott, 41, of Perth was arrested and charged with theft over $5,000, two charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and theft of a motor vehicle. He was held over for a bail hearing and Durham Regional Police Service said the investigation is ongoing.

Mr. Knight-Locke was not in the mood to shed a tear for the man charged with several offences, including the theft of his two snow blowers, and said there is a bit of irony to the story.

“The funny thing is one of the snow blowers is on its last legs and it would be hard to sell that machine for any large amount of money and I hope those thieves find out they came all the way to Renfrew to steal a machine that is near the end,” he said. “I really want to thank everyone who provided information to police and online after seeing the video of them stealing my property. We got some real terrible people off the streets so congratulations and thanks again.”

Mr. Knight-Locke will be going to Durham in the next few days to retrieve his items and learn more about the investigation.


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