Operation Padlock: Police raid shuts down St. François gambling den

Operation Padlock: Police raid shuts down St. François gambling den

Robber grabs gems worth $22,000, car flies off Montée Masson overpass

By Robert Frank

An anonymous tip led the Laval Police black market squad to pounce on an illegal gambling operation in an industrial building at 1731 Cunard, at around 11 p.m., Jan 22. Quebec Health Ministry tobacco law enforcement officers also participated in the raid.

“Ninety-nine bottles of beer, wine and spirits and a kilogram of contraband shisha tobacco were seized, as well as documents, gambling equipment and $4,700 in cash,” Sgt. Frédéric Jean told The Suburban. “One of the patrons also had 10.7 grams of cannabis in his possession.”

“During the raid, 15 people there were arrested: one was charged with operating a common betting house; the other 14 for being in [an illegal] betting house,” he continued. “Three were also detained because there were outstanding arrest warrants issued for them for assault, failure to appear [in court] and breach of [bail] conditions.”

“The patrons reflected a wide variety of nationalities and age groups,” Sgt. Jean said of the raid, which police dubbed Operation Padlock. “They ranged from 30-60 years old and were French, English, Greek, Italian, Jewish and Arab. No specific group was represented.”

“Illegal gambling operations are very rare in Laval,” he added. “One of our lieutenant-detectives stated that he had never seen the like in his 30 years with the force.”

Diamond heist

Police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a young jewel thief.

“On Jan. 6, a young man, about 17-years-old, entered Birks at Carrefour Laval and asked to see a pair of earrings,” said Sgt. Jean.

“The employee placed the jeweller’s pad on the counter, upon which the youth ran off with the whole pad, stacked with diamond earrings.”

“The pad contained three sets of earrings, but they were valued at $22,000,” he said.

Sgt. Jean said that the youth was approximately 1.68 metres tall, weighed 65 kg and had dark brown hair and a scar on the left eyebrow.

Occupants flee flying car

A car flew over the guard rail on the Montée Masson overpass, Jan. 19, and fell 15 metres to the Highway 25 on-ramp below.

“It happened just after 4:10 p.m.,” said Sgt. Jean. “Evidently they were driving very quickly but did not hit the curb and went right over the guardrail.”

“A witness alerted police that the occupants had exited the car afterward, buried something in the snow and fled the scene,” he said. “They were quickly located by police officers, who visited the site and found drugs and some ammunition. The pair, aged 26 and 27, were known to police for gang activities. They were arrested for breach of conditions and charged with dangerous driving and drug possession, pending police analysis of the substances.”

Laval Police looking for young robber who made off with $22,000 worth of diamond earrings.

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