Tire thieves on a roll

Pedestrian mauled, mouldering grow-op raided, bank robber takes taxi

By Robert Frank

If someone offers you a bargain on some new car tires or mag wheels, they might be stolen goods, Laval Police warned last week, after thieves absconded with stock from two Laval tire stores in less than a week.

The first break-in occurred Feb. 20, at Pneus National, at 1474 Cunard, in the industrial park south of Highway 440.

“The suspects broke through the garage door and stole 16 Firestone summer tires and wheels worth about $5,000,” Const. Nathalie Lorrain told The Suburban. “They also caused about $2,000 worth of damage to the garage door.”

“Then, at 5:45 a.m., Feb. 26, they triggered the alarm system at Pneus Carrefour Laval at 1706 Berlier,” she continued. “They broke through a window, opened the door and left with 36 tires worth $6,000.”

Driver drags pedestrian

Laval Police arrested Granby resident Alain Nadeau after the car he was driving allegedly struck a pedestrian—twice.

“When he drove out of the Caisse populaire on Labelle, he wanted to go to the Shell gas station at the corner of des Oiseaux,” said Sgt. Frédéric Jean in an interview, “so he went in the opposite direction to the traffic when he struck the pedestrian, who was walking along the sidewalk.”

“He originally struck him once, then slightly braked and then reaccelerated,” he continued. “He struck the victim again who was on the hood of the car and then dragged him along the pavement for well over 100 feet, underneath the vehicle.” 

The unidentified man, 51, was taken by ambulance to Sacré Cœur hospital, where his life hangs in the balance.

Police closed Labelle Boulevard from 12:04 p.m. until 4:15, when they reopened a single lane to cope with rush hour traffic. Normal traffic did not resume until around 6:30 p.m.

The following day, Nadeau appeared in court to face criminal negligence and dangerous driving charges.

Grow-op posed fire, health risk

Laval Police moved quickly to raid a Laval des Rapides apartment, Feb. 20, after occupants of the Robert Élie street residence complained about an eight-floor marijuana grow-op.

“The neighbours could smell the marijuana,” said Sgt. Jean. “Drug investigators intervened swiftly because marijuana cultivators typically bypass the building’s electrical panel to power as many as a dozen 1,000-watt grow lamps. Often, this provokes electrical fires.”

“Grow-ops also pose a very serious health risk,” he warned, “because their humid environment favours mould growth, as well as all the unhealthy insecticides and fertilizers that the operators use.”

“If tomatoes and cucumbers were grown under the same conditions as marijuana, you wouldn’t want to eat them,” Sgt. Jean observed.

He added that a general increase in crime levels also tends to accompany grow-ops.

“A rise in violent robbery and theft tends to go hand-in-hand,” Sgt. Jean told The Suburban.

Taxi getaway foiled

Investigators arrested Rafi Keurk, 35, Feb. 20, who appeared in court the following day to face a charge armed robbery, in the wake of an alleged holdup at the TD Canada Trust bank branch at 727 Labelle, in Ste. Rose. 

“The suspect went to the counter an and presented a note, but it was so poorly written that the clerk couldn’t read it,” reported Sgt. Jean, “so he brandished a gun, said ‘Give me the money!’ and left with about $800 in a taxi.” 

“He went to a location where he switched taxis,” he continued. “He was very quickly located at the Motel Idéal in Ste. Rose, where he was arrested and a fake handgun was seized.”
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