Prowlers pose as city staff

Fifth daycare assault charge

By Robert Frank

Police have alerted Laval residents that someone has been going around pretending to be municipal inspectors in order to gain access to their homes.

“We have received a lot of calls,” Const. Jolyane Ledoux told The Suburban. “Someone comes to their door and asks to see the furnace and water heater. If the resident doesn’t want to let them in, they get mad.”

Some people who were also told that they needed to replace their water gave the suspects a cheque to pay for a new one, never to see them return.

She said that the perpetrators might also have been casing the homes for a later theft.

After Laval Police went public with the warning that this had been happening in Duvernay, they began to receive calls with similar complaints from all over Île Jésus.

“Chomedey, Vimont; everywhere in Laval,” said Const. Ledoux. “One woman saw the person twice in one week knock on every door on her street.”

She said that residents can call 311 to find out whether the visitors are really city employees.

“If they’re not supposed to be there, don’t let them in. Call 911 and give their description: Their age, clothing, hair and eye colour. Their car model, colour, license plate and the direction that they left in.”

Another toddler traumatized

Château Bertinois daycare Mathieu Mastrostefano faces an additional assault charge for alleged abuse of another two-year-old child there.

In December, Laval Police investigators accused the 33-year-old Fabreville resident of assaulting two children, aged three and four, and threatening to kill or cause bodily harm to another three-year-old.

“Subsequent to a review of the investigators’ report, another charge was subsequently authorized,” Sgt. Frédéric Jean told The Suburban. “It was part of the initial investigation and not due to an ongoing investigation.”

Court documents show that the new charge, the fifth against Mastrostefano, was filed Dec. 22.

The court freed him on bail following his arrest, Nov. 26 and he remains at liberty pending his next appearance at the Laval courthouse for an April 14 hearing.

Police brass suspended

The city has suspended Laval Police Lt.-Det. Antony Donato and Sgt.-Det. Dominico Digenova with pay, while it looks into media leaks prior to the arrest of a Laval firefighter on drug trafficking charges.

“During a police operation, privileged information was revealed to certain news media,” Laval Police Lt. Daniel Guérin told The Suburban. “The media coverage that ensued endangered the safety of the police officers involved in the operation at the conclusion of the investigation.”

Lt. Guérin declined to identify the pair; however city council made their names public during its executive committee meeting, Dec. 10.

He underscored that they have not yet been accused of wrongdoing. Rather, the purpose of the investigation is to establish what in fact transpired, to determine what role the two suspended police brass might have played.

Sgt.-Det. Digenova is not related to Laval Police spokesman Const. Franco Di Genova, whose similar-sounding name is spelled differently.

30 bags of pot seized

A routine Pont Viau traffic patrol stop, around 6. p.m., Jan 27, turned into a sizeable drug bust.

“The driver didn’t have a license, so they wanted to seize the car,” said Const. Ledoux. “They saw a bag of topsoil and smelled marijuana inside.”

At the city pound, investigators found 30 garbage bags filled with marijuana inside and arrested the two suspects, aged 27 and 39.

“One of them needed medication from home,” added Const. Ledoux. “When officers got to the house, the smelled an intense odour, so they got a warrant and seized material involved in marijuana production.”

$13,500 Breitling burgled

The Birks outlet at Carrefour Laval was again hit with a grab-and-run robbery, Jan 9.

“A little after 10:30 a.m., a man aged 25-30 asked to see a Breitling watch worth $13,500,” said Const. Ledoux. “Once he had it in hand, he fled.”

She said that the suspect punched Birks’ security guard in the face before fleeing and that another witness spotted him decamping in a stolen Hyundai Elantra which sported a license plate that had been stolen in a separate theft in Sherbrooke, Que.

“We’re awaiting security camera imagery to help us identify the suspect,” Const. Ledoux added.

Laval Police apprehended two teen runaways after a similar robbery at Birks, Dec. 6.

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