Toronto Police release details of Project Heavy Bag, a million-dollar retail robbery investigation


The Toronto Police Service Hold Up Squad on Tuesday released details of the Project Heavy Bag, a million-dollar retail robbery investigation.

According to a statement released by Toronto Police, the officers arrested three men and four women during the investigation.

“On Thursday, April 1, 2021, at a retail location in the area of Carlingview Drive and Dixon Road, two men forced an employee at gunpoint to give them access, assaulted a second victim and forced them to open the safes, and loaded garbage bags with a substantial amount of money, in excess of one million dollars, prior to fleeing in an awaiting vehicle,” the statement said.

The statement further added that an attempted home invasion took place in the Kipling Avenue and Steeles Avenue area on Monday, May 17, 2021, after armed suspects attempted to gain entry into a unit and fled prior to police arrival.

A sum of money, identified to have been obtained during the robbery on April 1, 2021, was found within the unit, the Toronto Police said, adding that as a result of the investigation, members of the Toronto Police Holdup Squad were able to identify four suspects involved in the robbery.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Police said, the officers located and arrested a man and a woman on Thursday, September 9, 2021, and seized a fully loaded 9mm Glock handgun and a quantity of ammunition were seized from the vehicle.

The Toronto Police also added that multiple charges were laid against Devante Virgo, 23, of Toronto, and Courtni Martin, 22, of Toronto, in connection with the incident.

Both appeared for a bail hearing on Friday, September 10, 2021, at 10 a.m., at Toronto West Court, 2201 Finch Avenue West, in Room 206.

They are next scheduled to appear in court on October 7, 2021, at 9 a.m. (for Courtni Martin) and 11 a.m. (for Devante Virgo), at Toronto West Court, 2201 Finch Avenue West, in Room 202.

Further to this investigation, on Thursday, September 9, and Friday, September 10, 2021, with the assistance of the Emergency Task Force, 11, 22 and 23 Division Major Crime Units and Forensic Identification Services, members of the Hold Up Squad executed four Criminal Code search warrants at various addresses and on two vehicles.

As a result, clothing, seven additional handguns (6 Glock pistols and a Luger firearm), high-capacity firearm magazines, numerous rounds of ammunition, body armor, a large quantity of cocaine and cash were seized.

The police laid multiple charges against Andrew Parsons, 22, of Toronto, and Phillip Nkrumah, 36, of Caledon.

Charges were also laid against Gabrielle Belsito, 26, of Toronto, Michelle Belsito, 26, of Toronto, Stephanie Nkrumah, 37, of Caledon, while Emmanuel Rawson, 22, of Toronto, remains outstanding and is wanted for robbery with a firearm, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, and possession of property obtained by crime over $5000

He is described as 5’7”, 190 lbs., and should be considered armed and dangerous. If seen, do not approach and call 9-1-1. His photograph is being released.



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