Man accused of slashing gas lines and causing $140,000 damage

Toronto police have arrested a man and charged him with 15 counts of mischief. He is alleged to have caused $140,000 in damage in 2016, 2015 and 2014. A police report, released on Tuesday,…

Man accused of slashing gas lines and causing $140,000 damage

Toronto police have arrested a man and charged him with 15 counts of mischief. He is alleged to have caused $140,000 in damage in 2016, 2015 and 2014.

A police report, released on Tuesday, said Steven Lawrence, a 54-year-old Toronto resident, is accused of maliciously and wantonly damaging property with intent to cause bodily harm.

The action was done “by intentionally slashing gas lines in numerous locations in the city”, the report said.

Members of the general crimes unit arrested Lawrence on Monday.

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Lakeshore Gas Services, a gas company, told the Toronto Star it was devastated to be targeted and feared their property would soon be held up as a target. It was sued last year by a man who allegedly defaced the gas company’s property.

On Monday, Ontario’s police chief, Mark Saunders, announced a reward for information leading to an arrest in relation to the case.

The attempt to deface the gas company’s property and cause significant damage to their equipment sparked a social media frenzy in Toronto. Snippets from the incident were widely shared on YouTube, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

The video included edited images of the alleged graffiti, with the implication that the charges involved swastikas and other ugly symbols.

Toronto police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante told the Guardian that in addition to the 15 mischief charges against Lawrence, he is also facing fraud charges.

One Twitter user called Lawrence “totally racist”.

Ali Yee (@AliYee90)

He’s racist and needs to go to jail.

Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice)

A man has been arrested after a string of hate-motivated incidents in Toronto. Steven Lawrence, 54, is facing 15 counts of mischief and possession of property obtained by crime.

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