Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $50,000 for information about an alleged hate crime at a Jewish-owned deli in North York

Toronto Crime Stoppers is offering an “enhanced” cash reward of up to $50,000 for information that could help investigators identify those responsible for an alleged hate crime at a Jewish-owned deli in North York.

A fire at International Delicatessen Foods (IDF), located near Steeles Avenue and Keele Street, broke out in the early hours of Wednesday, January 3. The fire was extinguished and no injuries were reported. “Free Palestine” was spray painted on the outside of the building.

Toronto police confirmed they are investigating the incident as a suspected hate crime. On Friday, Crime Stoppers announced a cash reward for any information that could help investigators make an arrest.

Typically, Crime Stoppers offers a $2,000 reward for tips that lead to arrests, but Sean Sportun, president of Toronto Crime Stoppers, told CTV News Toronto that they want to help the Toronto Police Service and the community bring this to a conclusion. resolution.

“I think addressing this in an expedited manner will bring some peace of mind to the community,” Sportun said. “I think it’s something that Toronto Crime Stoppers considers very, very important.”

In the past, Sportun said Toronto Crime Stoppers has offered enhanced cash rewards for tips related to several different crimes, adding that they decide when to present these rewards on a case-by-case basis.

“Obviously, this has had a huge impact on the entire community,” Sportun said.

The reward will only be available until March 1st.

Vice Mayor Michael Colle and the county. James Pasternak called the incident “an incredible turning point” and said the alleged fire was an act of “appalling targeted intimidation.” Colle said the store owner, who does not want to be identified for fear of future attacks, is “shocked.”

“We don’t want this to be a pattern of more horrendous acts of violence. We want this to stop and that’s why one of the things we’re asking for is basically for the federal minister to consider this as meeting the criteria of an act of terrorism.” “Colle said.

Colle called for more support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc called the rise in hate crimes “alarming and concerning.”

“Anti-Semitism has absolutely no place in Canada. “Our security and law enforcement agencies are taking all appropriate measures to keep Canadians safe,” reads part of the statement to CTV News Toronto.

Colle also told reporters Monday that he reached out to federal and provincial attorneys general to make changes to “very weak laws” that make it “almost impossible” to prosecute people in these types of incidents.

In December, Toronto police said they had recorded almost 100 hate crimes in the city since the start of the War between Israel and Hamasinitiated by a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Police classified 56 of those incidents as anti-Semitic and another 20 as anti-Muslim or anti-Palestinian.

Anyone with information regarding the incident at the deli on January 3 can call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.222tips.com.


With files from Phil Tsekouras

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