January 26, 2017

A 22-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in prison for a string of robberies, including three against TTC collectors. In a separate case, a 56 year-old man was sentenced to 88 days for assaulting a TTC collector.

On Apr. 3 and Apr. 25, 2015, three different collectors were robbed at gun point by masked suspects. In all three robberies, the suspects demanded and received cash and TTC fare media before escaping.

Toronto Police Service launched an investigation into these robberies. Through the investigation, dubbed Project Castle, and with the aid of video images, police identified and arrested Stefon Edwards, along with five other suspects who are still before the courts.

Edwards, 22, pleaded guilty to seven counts of robbery, seven counts of wearing a disguise and seven counts of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an indictable offence. Three of each of these charges were related to the TTC incidents.

In a separate case, James Lavoie, 56, was sentenced to 88 days in jail for assaulting a TTC collector on Nov. 21, 2016, after he twice attempted to enter Don Mill Station without paying a fare. When asked to pay his fare, Lavoie became irate, swore at the collector and threatened him by pointing a piece of lumber as if holding a rifle. Lavoie then proceeded to the subway where he caused a disturbance that resulted in a 32 minute delay to service.

Lavoie, who was originally charged with multiple offences, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and was sentenced to 88 days - time served, as he was held in custody until his sentencing hearing.

On average, more than one TTC employee are victims of crimes every day, including theft, assault and threats of physical harm or death.  The TTC's Court Advocates work with Crown Attorneys and the Courts to ensure the stiffest penalties possible for those convicted of crimes against TTC employees, and continue to seek limits on the use of public transit in Toronto for those convicted of these crimes.

The TTC thanks its partners at the Toronto Police Service for their work in bringing these serious matters to conclusion.

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