An Ottawa man faces 41 different charges in connection with a rash of break-ins that have occurred in Orléans over the past three months.
Gerald Lusignan, 54, was arrested on Jan. 19 and charged with 14 counts of break and enter, 14 counts of mischief under $5,000 and 14 counts of wearing a disguise with intent.
Most of the break-ins occurred in the early morning hours on St. Joseph Blvd. Among the places the accused targeted are the Garlic King, Rangoli and Bad Alibi. The Barber Stop at the corner of Jeanne d’Arc Blvd, and Voyageur Drive in Convent Glen was also hit.
In almost every case, the accused used a brick or other large object to break the window glass in the front door.
In a surveillance video seen by the Orléans Star, the accused is dressed completely in black and is wearing a face mask. After breaking into the restaurant, he can be seen making his getaway on a bicycle.
In some cases, he took a small some of cash and alcohol, while in other cases, there was no money on the premises to steal. If anything, the break-ins were more of a nuisance than anything, albeit an extremely expensive nuisance.
Because of a city by-law regulating the width of outdoor entrances to commercial establishments, the actual doors have to be custom-made with tempered glass, which makes them extremely expensive.
When the accused broke into Rangoli he took $200 in cash and a couple of bottles of booze, but in the process of breaking into the restaurant he destroyed the front door, which will cost the owner $3,000 to replace.
It’s the same case for the Garlic King, which was also broken into.
For all of the businesses on St. Joseph Blvd. the fact that someone has been arrested and charged comes as huge relief.
The Ottawa Police Service dedicated a number of resources to identify, locate and arrest the suspect including frontline patrol, the canine unit, the Neighbourhood Resource Team and the OPP.
In the end, the suspect was arrested by patrol officers on Jan. 19 and remains in custody while the investigation is still ongoing.
The investigation and arrest are being lauded by Orléans city councillor Matt Luloff.
“The Ottawa Police took these break-ins very seriously and I commend them for their hard work” says Luloff. “While obviously the matter still has to come before the courts, knowing that the Ottawa Police made every effort to find the person responsible for these crimes gives me confidence that our local businesses won’t be viewed as easy targets in the future.
“Our local businesses have gone through so much over the last three years and having to make repairs to windows, buy new stock and replace equipment adds insult to injury after this very difficult time. When crimes like these are committed, it hurts everyone. We all feel a little bit safer knowing that those who break our trust will be held accountable for these invasive and destructive crimes.”.