Seven boys, too young to be identified by name, have been arrested after armed robberies of East York stores this week.
The alleged robberies began in the area of Cosburn and Donlands avenues on Nov. 9 when boys entered two premises attempting to disguise their identities and with one boy carrying a knife, police say.
The boys are reported to have approached employees and demanded money at knifepoint. Cash, cigarettes and cigars were taken before the robbers fled the area in a stolen vehicle.
Police say they spotted the vehicle with the suspects inside, but they fled and crashed the vehicle into a house.
One 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene while the others fled on foot, according to police.
However, the next day a similar robbery took place in the area of the Cosburn and Greenwood avenues, just blocks from the previous day’s incidents.
This time one of the boys was reported armed with an expandable baton with which store staff were threatened. Two employees were allegedly assaulted.
Again cash, cigarettes and cigars were taken before the robbers fled in a vehicle.
But all the boys allegedly involved were located and arrested.
Police report they were identified with the assistance of the public and officers from multiple divisions, as well as the police holdup squad.
The boys age 14 and 16 each face multiple charges including up to three counts of robbery with an offensive weapon, up to three counts of disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence, up to three counts of possession of a weapon and various counts of possession of property obtained by crime, among other charges.
A boy, 15, was charged with only robbery with an offensive weapon.
The first boy arrested appeared in court Nov. 10. The rest are to appear in court Nov. 13.
Officers in the Hold Up Squad are investigating further incidents that thee boys may have been involved in.
Alleged offenders under 18 cannot be identified, according to the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act.
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