Toronto police announced last Tuesday that they have set up a web page in an effort to return valuables to victims of recent break-ins. According to the North York Mirror of November 20, law enforcers were successful in arresting nine people who were responsible for a string of burglaries in what they term the affluent areas of North York, Rosedale, and the Kingsway.
Police have recovered over 4,000 valuable items, mostly jewelry, but also military medals, and a 150-year-old bible. Remarkably, they have also been able to recover 22 vehicles; most stolen at night from driveways using spare keys taken during break-ins. Project Yellowbird received its name from a yellow Porsche Carrera, stolen during the ice storm when the owner presumably was not home. The Porsche was recovered in Lithuania, suggesting that the gang of burglars is from Eastern Europe if not from Slavic countries. That last is emphasized by the fact that homeowners reported the theft of expensive footwear and eau de cologne, not the type of swag your average Toronto burglar would be interested in.
The website was born out of necessity – just too many items were recovered, and police felt that the best approach would be to photograph each item, catalogue everything and then put the pictures on the website. Among the 4,000+ items on the website is a ring with the Estonian coat of arms, indicating that a Toronto Estonian family was burgled. It seems from the photograph that it is a woman’s ring.
There may be others who have been affected by these break-ins, but are unaware of the success of Project Yellowbird and the new website, as this news did not seem to make it into the mainstream media. The North York Mirror is a free weekly, relying on advertising, and is not necessarily read by every household that receives it.
As a community service this short article is to advise readers of the existence of this website. Be forewarned – with the number of items catalogued, it will take a considerable amount of time to search every page. Yet, to regain valuables, that often have more than financial value, being tied to emotions, memories and sentimentality, the effort may be worth one’s while, if one has recently been victimized.
The only stipulation that police have is that the homeowner has filed a police report within the last two years, the estimated time that the gang has been operating. Police have singled out the Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood, the Yonge and Lawrence area as well as the above-mentioned Rosedale and The Kingsway as where the majority of the burglaries took place.
Even if one was not a victim, but is aware of somebody who was burgled, this information should be disseminated, as the media coverage may not have reached everyone whose sanctuary was violated and valuables with memories attached stolen.
Visit www.torontopolice.on.ca/projec... to view the recovered valuables.
Project Yellowbird recovers stolen Estonian ring