Former Orangeville mayor takes down alleged thief

November 5, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Former Orangeville Mayor Jeremy Williams was involved in a citizens’ arrest at a local Shoppers Drug Mart last week after two men ransacked the store’s high-end perfume display area. 

Late last Wednesday evening, shortly after 9 p.m., Mr. Williams attended the Shoppers at 25 Broadway to pick up a prescription for his mother. While waiting, he heard a distressed employee calling out and informing others that “the Chanel guys are here”, referring to the thieves who, apparently, have targeted the store before. 

As the men attempted to pack as much perfume as they could into a pair of duffle bags, Mr. Williams approached, informing the individuals that the police were already on the scene.

“I yelled at this ‘it’s over. Put the bags down, the police are here. Just forget it. It’s all over. You’ll only make it worse’,” Mr. Williams recounted in a post to his social media accounts. “They kept clearing the shelves, but soon stopped as I got closer.”

Armed with a chair, held up and pointing outwards for his protection, Mr. Williams continued his approach, reiterating his previous message. As he got closer, the alleged thieves made a run for it. While one got away, Mr. Williams, after a brief struggle, was able to temporarily subdue the other. 

“I picked up a large chrome plated rectangular sign that was at the entrance. I used the sign to capture the larger suspect, pinning down his arms and blocking him from getting out the door. He was trapped in the sign frame,” Mr. Williams stated. 

As he struggled to keep the man from escaping, another individual from inside the store, Carmine Domanico, came to the former mayor’s aid. At the same time, another man, Kevin Snyder, was just entering the store. When he saw what was unfolding in front of him, he offered further assistance, putting the suspect into a choke hold in a further attempt to subdue him. 

While the suspect “struggled violently” as Mr. Williams described, the three men were able to keep a hold of him until police entered the building. 

“The suspect was arrested with firm, but appropriate force. The officer was extremely professional and, as far as I know, there were no injuries to the suspects, officers, myself or the other two gentlemen,” Mr. Williams noted. “I would be remise in not thanking the other two gentlemen who came to my assistance. Without their help, I do not think I would have been able to restrain the suspect long enough for the police to make their arrest.”

Following the incident, Dufferin OPP charged 34-year-old Andrea Franco Sestito, of Etobicoke, with theft over $5,000 and failure to comply with a probation order. A press release sent out by OPP stated that, upon arriving on the scene, they found duffle bags containing approximately $15,000 worth of perfume and cologne. 

A second suspect, described as Portuguese, wearing a black track jacket with red stripes down the sides, is still at large. He is believed to be in the possession of thousands of dollars’ worth of perfume product. 

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.