KAWARTHA LAKES-Kawartha Lakes Police Chief, Mark Mitchell says he is concerned about the increase in firearms-related incidents in the City of Kawartha Lakes recently.
Mitchell was addressing the police services board on Thursday when he stated he was seeing a concerning trend recently. There have been three gun-related incidents in the Lindsay area since January 1st 2022.
On March 11th there was a brazen daytime shooting on a residential street in Lindsay. Police responded to the area of Peel and Albert Streets after reports of multiple gunshots. Schools in the area were placed on hold and secure.
A 29-year-old Lindsay male was taken into custody, charged with attempted murder, firearm – use while committing offence, possession of weapon for dangerous purpose, knowledge of unauthorized possession of firearm and possession of loaded prohibited or restricted firearm. No name was released. A second suspect is still at large. One person was injured and taken to hospital with undisclosed injuries.
Read more here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2022/03/11/lindsay-male-charged-another-suspect-at-large-after-brazen-mid-day-shooting-in-residential-area/
A second shooting in 2022 occurred at a city-owned housing complex in Lindsay.
Police say on January 30, 2022 at 9:59pm Kawartha Lakes Police Service responded to 68 Lindsay Street North in Lindsay for a disturbance call. A second caller reported there had been a shooting. Police attended and located a gunshot victim who was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries according to police.
On Tuesday February 15, 2022, 23-year-old Tyler Ballantyne of Toronto was arrested and charged with, attempt to commit murder, break and enter dwelling house – commit an indictable offence, robbery with violence, assault, knowledge of unauthorized possession of firearm and knowledge of unauthorized possession of weapon.
Read more here: https://www.kawartha411.ca/2022/01/31/police-investigating-shooting-at-city-owned-housing-complex-in-lindsay/
On March 3rd, a 33-year-old Lindsay man was charged with possession of a loaded firearm after an alleged theft from a local business.
Police say on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 1:10pm the Kawartha Lakes Police responded to a theft call from a Kent Street West business in Lindsay. Store staff reported three individuals had been in the store for a lengthy period of time. It was believed that one of the individuals had concealed items in his jacket and left without paying according to police.
“My concerns are centered around the fact that these incidents are often tied to the illicit drug market and almost always involve illegally obtained, prohibited weapons.” Mitchell told Kawartha 411 News.
Mitchell says many of the weapons are brought across the US/Canada border illegally and sold on the black market.
“In 2019, we had a case where a seized firearm was traced back to its origins in the states. This can be a lengthy process and often involves restoring serial #’s that have been altered or removed entirely.” Mitchell explains.
The illegal drug market is influenced by individuals who are not residents and have no other connection to the area, but they also develop connections to local individuals according to Mitchell.
“We cannot put all of the blame for the drug problem on outside influences.”
Mitchell says officers are meeting regularly with Kawartha Lakes Housing to address security concerns at some of their buildings. He says a new partnership with Fourcast is helping to proactively deal with the situation.
“At the start of this week they made arrangements to take two people and put them into a Residential Treatment Program,” Mitchell says “One had amassed 24 criminal charges and 107 interactions with police. Whether or not rehab is successful is up to that individual. But it is some of the work we are doing to break that recidivism cycle.”