Barrie, Ont., man faces 52 charges in connection with commercial break-in spree

A man from Barrie, Ont., is facing 52 charges in connection with a commercial break-in spree that happened in the summer in downtown Bradford and other jurisdictions, South Simcoe police say.

According to officers, a vehicle that was stolen during an early morning break-in in Peel Region was used in a string of 14 entries into commercial properties in August.

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Police say the offences began in Barrie before they expanded into Peel, York and Simcoe County.

The targeted “smash and grab” entries resulted in damage to 15 properties, an arson, and the theft of about $18,000 of cash and items, investigators say.

On Thursday, Aaron Lee, 34, from Barrie, was charged with 16 counts of breaking and entering, 16 counts of mischief under $5,000, 14 counts of theft under $5,000, one count of mischief over $5,000, motor vehicle theft, dangerous operation, arson, possession of property obtained by crime and driving while prohibited.

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Investigators say the arrest follows a four-month, multi-jurisdictional investigation that was spearheaded by South Simcoe Police and involved Peel Regional Police, York Regional Police, Barrie Police and Ontario Provincial Police.

Lee was released with a future court date.

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