Police arrest three suspects following investigation into string of break-ins

Three suspects have been arrested following an investigation into numerous breaks-ins across Durham Region.

Dubbed ‘Project Balsam,’ the investigation was launched in mid May.

Police say two of the of the suspects were arrested while they were committing a break-in at a restaurant in a commercial plaza on Garrard Road in Whitby around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday (May 28).

“Both suspects smashed the glass door and upon fleeing the store, they were taken into custody by investigators,” reads a media release.

“Both suspects are responsible for 14 commercial break and enters and one commercial robbery in Durham Region dating back to March 6.”

Thaddeus Meulemesster, 21 and Elijah Smith, 19, both of Guelph Street in Oshawa are charged with 67 charges combined including break and enter; possess break-In instruments; robbery and disguise with intent and mischief. They were both held for a bail hearing.

Investigators also arrested a third suspect who allegedly to broke into St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Uxbridge in March of 2018 stealing property and cash from the local food bank.

Shawn Fries, 53, of Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto is charged with break and enter; possession of property obtained by crime; trafficking in property obtained by crime and possession of a credit card obtained by crime. He was also held for a bail hearing.

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