Police respond to elevated number of shootings in the region

Waterloo Regional Police have responded to six shootings in recent weeks, the latest occurring August 14 on Bridgeport Road near Hwy. 85 in Waterloo and Avalon Place in Kitchener.

So far this year, police are investigating 12 shootings in which five people were injured, three of which have been solved. Several of these investigations are multi-jurisdictional with elements of organized crime and street gang involvement, police report. 

In 2020, Waterloo Region’s violent crime rate rose by three per cent and is now the second highest of the 12 largest municipal police services in the province of Ontario.

“These crimes have a significant impact on public safety and the wellness of everyone in Waterloo Region. Recognizing the impact on neighbourhood safety and wellness, our Community Engagement and Wellbeing Unit partners with local neighbourhood associations, stakeholders and citizens to work towards building safer communities as well as ensuring long-term strategies for prevention,” WRPS Chief Bryan Larkin said this week in an open letter to residents.

“While this violence is disheartening and troubling, I can assure every resident of Waterloo Region, as your Chief of Police, that the members of WRPS are dedicated and working diligently – 24/7/365 – to provide professional police services that will contribute to the enhancement of the overall wellbeing of our community.”  

AUGUST 3

1:23 PM | Emergency services responded to a collision on Victoria Street North in Woolwich Township. The driver of a Black Acura was travelling south on Victoria Street when the driver slowed for traffic ahead. Another vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz, was travelling in the same direct when the driver failed to slow in time for traffic ahead, striking the black Acura. The driver of the Mercedes, an 18-year-old Guelph man who suffered minor injuries, was charged with ‘careless driving’ as a result of the investigation.

AUGUST 4

7:18 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a break and enter at a business on Floradale Road in Woolwich Township. A compound gate lock had been cut and a utility trailer was stolen. The trailer is black and had an Ontario licence plate attached. The break-in is believed to have occurred sometime between Aug. 3 and the time of the report. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

8:52 AM | Police received a report of a theft from a motor vehicle in the area of Shantz Station Road east of Breslau. At some point overnight, a vehicle was entered and personal property was stolen. The suspect(s) then entered a second vehicle and stole it.  A blue Nissan Rogue is outstanding. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

12:25 PM |  A collision occurred at Arthur and Mill streets in Elmira. A vehicle had stopped at a pedestrian crossing light while travelling north on Arthur Street South when the driver of a second vehicle failed to stop in time and struck the stopped vehicle from behind. As a result of investigation, a 22-year-old Guelph man was charged with ‘careless driving.’

4:17 PM |  Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a theft from a motor vehicle on Woolwich Street South in Breslau. A catalytic converter was stolen from a vehicle, a white GMC Savana. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

AUGUST 5

1:30 PM | Police received a report of a theft from a vehicle parked at a Young Street, St. Jacobs location. Sometime between Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, the victim’s vehicle was entered and personal property, including cash, was stolen from a purse that was left inside the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-84777.

 1:30 PM | Police received a report of a gas theft from a station on Church Street East in Elmira. The investigation is ongoing.

AUGUST 6

11:18 AM | A report of property damage brought police to an address on First Street West in Elmira. A vehicle was later reported to be damaged by an unknown person. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

5:14 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of mail theft in the area of Berletts Road in Wilmot Township. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

7:22 PM | Police responded to a report of a single-vehicle collision in the area of Huron Road and Queen Street in Wilmot Township. The driver of the vehicle was travelling west on Huron Road when they swerved to avoid striking a dog that ran into the roadway. The vehicle then left the roadway, went into a ditch and struck a tree. There were no physical injuries reported. The vehicle suffered extensive front-end damage.

AUGUST 7

7:18 AM | A single-vehicle collision brought emergency crews to Letson Drive and Katherine Street near West Montrose. The driver of the vehicle was travelling north on Katherine Street North when they lost control and the vehicle rolled into the ditch. The driver was sent to an out-of-region hospital as a precaution. As a result of the investigation, a 37-year-old Guelph man was charged with ‘careless driving.’

AUGUST 8

4:42 PM | Police stopped a vehicle on Kressler Road in Wellesley Township for speeding – the driver was observed travelling 83 km/h in a 50 km/hr zone. The driver was also determined to be a suspended driver. A 57-year-old woman is facing multiple charges.

AUGUST 10

4:45 AM | Police continue to investigate after an unknown suspect(s) attended a commercial plaza on Townsend Drive in Breslau. Power to the plaza was turned off by the suspect(s), who then smashed the front doors of two businesses and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Police have linked the break-ins to one half an hour earlier at a commercial business in the area of Victoria Street North and Centennial Crescent in Kitchener. The business reported that nothing was taken.

AUGUST 11

9:38 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a break and enter at a storage compound on King Street North in St. Jacobs. It is unknown if anything was taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

AUGUST 14

10:20 AM | Emergency services responded to a collision involving a vehicle and a cyclist at the intersection of Kressler and Erbsville roads in Wellesley Township. A dark coloured Nissan was travelling south on Kressler Road and turned left into the path of a northbound cyclist. As a result, the cyclist lost control and fell from his bike. The cyclist, a 52-year-old Waterloo man, was transported to an out-of-region hospital with serious injuries. Area roads were closed for approximately three hours during the investigation. Police are looking to identify and speak to the driver of the vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to call the Traffic Service’s Unit at 519-570-9777 extension 8856.

10:10 PM | Wellington County OPP received a driving complaint involving a white sedan travelling on Highway 6 near the Second Line in Centre Wellington Township. Police located the vehicle and while speaking with the driver, formed the opinion that they were impaired by alcohol and they were placed under arrest. As a result, a 30-year-old Fergus man was charged with ‘impaired operation’ and ‘impaired operation 80-plus.’ His driver’s licence was suspended for 90 days, and his vehicle impounded for a week. The accused is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice – Guelph on Aug. 27.

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