Take the Law into Your Own Hands

Update:

See the source, the Toronto Star

2003 Kawaski Ninja looks like a 2004 Kawaski Ninja 1000 motorcycle
2003 Kawaski Ninja looks like a 2004 Kawaski Ninja 1000 motorcycle

In June of 2010, Ehsan Ghebrai, a 28 year old Ehsan Bhebrai defence criminal lawyer, purchased a 2004 Kawaski Ninja 1000 motorcycle for the price of $7000.00. He had the motorcycle parked in his underground parking garage in his condominium, located in dowtown Toronto. On December 9, 2010 he observed his motorcycle after he parked beside it. Several hours later, he approached his parking space and noticed that his motorcycle was no longer there.

As citizens are advised, Ehsan Ghebrai called Toronto police to advise them of the theft of his motorcycle. When he phoned Toronto Police’s 52 Division (located at 255 Dundas Street West, west of University Avenue) a police officer informed Ghebrai that police didn’t have the necessary resources to send a police officer to investigate the theft, but that he should contact the security office within his condominium and request a copy of the underground garage’s surveillance footage from the CCTV.

The same officer also had other useful do-it-yourself crime investigative techniques advice to dispense to Ghebrai. The officer told Ghebrai to speak to the previous owner of Ghebrai’s motorcycle, as he might possess some useful knowledge. In addition to this advice, he advised Ghebrai to survey the local neighbourhood, as the motorcycle thief may have ditched his motorcycle nearby.

Ghebrai decided to follow-up on the advice of the Toronto Police 52 Division’s police officer and he contacted the condominium’s security officers and provided them with an occurrence number provided to him by the police officer that gave him advise. He requested the video survelliance security footage, in a vain attempt to capture a photo of the thief, removing his motorcycle from the condominium undergroung parking lot.

As is the typical response from building security regarding the release of video footage, the condominium security officers advised Ghebrai that they would not release the security video footage to him and that they could only release this footage to police, at the request of the police, in connection with an investigation conducted by the police.

Ghebrai says he has spent weeks litigating cases involving modest amounts of drugs — as little as 0.7 grams of crack recently — that have involved seven or eight officers, “and they can’t send a single police officer to seize the videotape of a limited period of time?”

Insp. Howie Page of 52 Division was surprised to hear about what Ghebrai told the Star.

“We do not want citizens to do their own investigations,” Page said Wednesday. “It is our job to do.”

While police try to dispatch officers to investigate the theft of big-ticket items, it isn’t always possible, but a detective should be assigned to the case, he said, adding he will look into it.

The force has a policy of sending an officer to every reported break-and-enter, Page said.

Ghebrai has notified his insurance company and hopes to be reimbursed in time for next year’s riding season, when he will be investing in a heavy-duty lock.

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3 comments

  1. He should have had a proper lock to begin with, although theft isn’t the victim’s fault. Citizens shouldn’t be doing their own detective work as Inspector Page says, but the police weren’t doing their job as their policy was not followed. Drugs can be a root of crime, so a focus on cocaine isn’t bad. Toronto’s police force may be understaffed, may not be balancing focus on different crime types, the officer Ghebrai contacted decided not to follow policy, or Ghebrai may have been impatient. It would be a good thing for the police to look into what happened.

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