Twelve teens charged in string of swarming-style robberies near Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan

Twelve teenagers have been charged in connection with a series of swarming-style robberies near Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan.

An investigation began in June after York police responded to a “significant volume” of robberies in the area of Jane Street and Norwood Avenue, including at the amusement park.

Police say that in each incident, victims reported being swarmed and robbed by a large group of young people. Few other details have been provided about what was stolen and how many robberies took place, but investigators say the incidents took place in the evening.

In a news release issued Wednesday, police said that 12 youth have been taken into custody and charged with multiple offences, including robbery, assault, mischief under $5,000 and causing a disturbance.

“More arrests are expected as the investigation continue,” police said.

The suspects, who are between the ages of 13 and 17 and hail from various areas of the Greater Toronto Area, cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The arrests were made as part of “Operation Beehave,” an investigation launched over Canada Day long weekend in which police increased their presence in the areas where the robberies took place.

“These efforts have been effective, with no reported swarmings since the start of the project. Operation Beehave will continue through the summer,” police say.

Considering the suspects were all teenagers, investigators are urging parents to speak with their children about personal safety and the consequences of participating in criminal activity.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact police or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.