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Canada Coronavirus Update: April

27,500+ Cases, 900+ Deaths


Click here to follow Canada's coronavirus store closings
94 brand closures in Canada (Updated Daily)

Toronto business owners concerned about 'perfect storm' for break-ins
during COVID-19 crisis

"There’s no guarantee that we're going to be able to make it through this"

Non-essential businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic are being targeted in a series of break-and-enters in Toronto.

"There’s no guarantee that we're going to be able to make it through this," Zach Slootsky, the owner of The Federal, told CTV News Toronto. He fears the restaurant, which was opened eight years ago, will not be able to survive much longer.

"We have a three-month plan for now, we had a three-month plan before the break-in and that sets us back maybe another month," he said. "While we're waiting here in limbo, we're exposed and we just have this criminal liability that criminals are exploiting now.

Fashion house Horse Atelier, near Queen St. W. And Bathurst Ave. was targeted last week. Co-founder Heidi Sopinka said the burglar deactivated their alarm system and stole about $3,000 worth of clothing. They also ransacked the store, destroying clothing and damaging the property.

"As you can see it's a perfect storm," Sopinka said. "All the stores are closed and empty and everyone's at home. And the prison system is at capacity, and the judicial system is shut down."

Other businesses have been boarded up as a preventative measure, and some restaurants have posted signs indicating there is no cash or alcohol kept on the premises.

Number Of Retail Robberies, Shootings Rise In Toronto Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Hold-ups, retail robberies and shootings are on the rise while other crime has declined over the past month in Toronto amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but other crimes have decreased, Toronto Police Service spokesperson Meaghan Gray told Sputnik.

"While it is far too early to make any determination on possible crime trends during this time, we do know that since March 16, 2020, our weekly statistics have shown the following: A decline in overall robberies but, when broken down, an increase in hold-ups and retail robberies combined with a decrease in street robberies," Gray said on Friday.

Gray added that the incidents of shootings in Toronto have also increased since mid-March.

Some downtown London, Ont. businesses taking cover amid shutdown

Police stepping up patrols as businesses ask for help

A number of businesses in London’s downtown core and Old East Village have boarded up their storefronts in light of an increase in vandalism and break-ins since the COVID-19 outbreak began. On Richmond Street, Joes Kool’s along with Prince Albert’s Diner are among those that have taken safety precautions because of decreased traffic downtown.

In the Old East Village it’s the same scene, with establishments like The Root Cellar having plywood on its front windows. London police have now stepped up both foot and vehicular patrols in the core and Old East Village and they are asking for the public’s assistance.

“Increased police presence down here is only a good thing you know to help keep everybody's businesses safe,” says Aronson. “I never thought we would have to do this in a million years, but like everybody we're just trying to get through it and be safe.”

40 arrested as Vancouver sees surge in commercial break-ins since COVID-19 measures began


Alberta RCMP warn citizens of spike in COVID-19 scams
Since the beginning of the month, there has been a spike in COVID-19 related scams in Canada. The most common reports are fraudulent merchandise sales and phishing emails.

The fraudulent merchandise sales frequently involve the sale and/or giveaway of health-related products such as facemasks and COVID-19 tests. There are also “free” products being advertised where the victim must pay a fake shipping fee.

The phishing emails impersonate agencies such as the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, and more. Typically, individuals are contacted through email or SMS and provided a link which prompts them to fill out personal and banking information. In some cases, the link contains suspected malware.

Other scams that occur involve individuals being advised of fake positive test results, donation campaigns, door-to-door decontamination services, and self-assessment surveys.

     RELATED: 4,000% increase in ransomware emails during COVID-19

Lowe's Canada Commits $ 1 Million to Help Associates and Communities Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
As Lowe's Canada , one of Canada's leading home improvement retailers operating or servicing more than 475 corporate and affiliated stores under different banners, continues to respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, it is announcing a philanthropic investment of $1 million to support Canadian associates and communities now and as the pandemic continues.

Former employees, customers raise concerns over Dollarama’s protective measures
A former Dollarama employee refused to go back to work after fearing for her safety. She says the store wasn’t taking enough COVID-19 precautions.

Indigo rehires 545 workers following initial COVID-19 layoffs as online orders grow

Why Canadians and Americans are buying guns during the coronavirus pandemic

Ontario to extend state of emergency, despite ‘glimmer of light’ in numbers

Winnipeg, MB: 16-year-old girl fatally shot by police after liquor store theft
A 16-year-old girl who died after being shot by Winnipeg police was driving a stolen vehicle used in the robbery of a Liquor Mart, police say. A group of five teens, all 15 or 16 years old, are accused of robbing the store in the Sage Creek neighbourhood just before 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. They allegedly stole alcohol while threatening to harm staff, before leaving in a stolen SUV. A police cruiser that responded to the robbery was rammed by the SUV, which then sped off, police said. Officers approached the stopped SUV and the girl was shot, police said. Police Chief Danny Smyth did not say how many shots were fired or how many officers fired their guns. He also couldn't say why police opened fire. All of that is being investigated by the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, which looks into police-involved serious incidents in the province.

(Update) Quebec: Man accused of attacking Walmart security guard released on bail, new evidence emerges
The man accused of seriously injuring a security guard at a Walmart in Sherbrooke over the weekend was released on bail on Wednesday. Release on bail, subject to several conditions, was also granted when information shed new light on what happened outside the store on Saturday afternoon.

Police initially said that Kouddar was frustrated when a security guard told him only one person per vehicle was allowed in the store at a time due to physical distancing measures amid the COVID-19 virus. Police said Kouddar struck the guard, Philippe Jean, with his car, and that the man was dragged over the hood for several metres.

But Kouddar’s defence lawyer, Kim Dingman, said she obtained a surveillance video from the store’s parking lot––evidence that had not yet been filed in court. She chose not to disclose the contents of the video as it could be used in a possible trial.

Taber, AB: Man charged after licking products in store as part of 'COVID Challenge'
A man from southern Alberta has been charged with mischief after police say he participated in an online prank related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Police in Taber say the man allegedly tampered with products inside a store. They say a witness saw a group of four people licking some products last Thursday before they left the business, which had to remove some items and sanitize the area. Taber police Chief Graham Abela says the prank was based on what some people are calling the COVID Challenge on the popular video app TikTok.

Toronto, ON: Police investigating man seen shooting at cars near mall

Edmonton, AB: Police looking for witnesses, dashcam footage following strip mall shooting

Halton, ON: Police say $1,500 worth of merchandise stolen from Lowe's

Georgetown, ON: Man steals more than $700 in merchandise from grocery store

Yellowknife, NT: Convenience store robber gets 18 months jail time


Robberies & Burglaries

C-Store - St. John's, NL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Waterloo, ON - Armed Robbery
Clothing Store - London, ON - Robbery
Dollarama - Thunder Bay, ON - Armed Robbery
Liquor Store - Winnipeg, MB - Robbery / Suspect killed
Pharmacy - Toronto, ON - Robbery
Pot Shop - Halifax, NS - Armed Robbery