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Nine months later: no new leads in Dupont station shooting

November 28th, 2012 · 1 Comment

A look into the security measures at the TTC

By Samina Esha

After three Dupont station robberies between 2011 and February of this year, no arrests have been made. Security camera footage indicates that all robberies were carried out by the same masked person. On the third robbery, shots were fired at a TTC fare collector, hospitalizing him.

According to Danny Nicholson, the TTC’s supervisor of corporate communications, TTC stations are very safe.

“The safety and security of our customer is our number one priority,” said Nicholson, “We have surveillance cameras everywhere and the Dupont station shooting would be an example of how our surveillance cameras can help to catch criminals.”

“We are doing everything we can to take this person off the streets.” – Staff Inspector Mike Earl

The victim was William Anderson, a fare collector and a father in his early 50s. He was shot twice in his upper chest and neck by a handgun-wielding bandit during an attempted robbery Feb. 26 at the Dupont station. In May, for the first time in its history, the TTC announced a $25,000 reward for any information about the shooting but despite the reward, the suspect is still at large.

“We did get a lot of tips and they are still coming in but we have nothing new at the moment,” said Staff Inspector Mike Earl.

He said  the TTC surveillance cameras were helpful as it captured the robber’s image. However, due to the black mask, the suspect could not be identified.

“This is the third time that this has happened and we believe it is the same person. We are doing everything we can to take this person off the streets. So, any information we can get from the public is helpful,” said Earl.

Toronto police is asking for the public assistance with the Dupont station shooting on Feb. 26. PHOTO BY SAMINA ESHA

All three robberies took place on weekends, late in the evening. Since the Dupont shooting there have been talks of installing bulletproof glass or switching to automated fare collection – but so far there have been no upgrades.

TTC spokesperson Milly Bernal said, “for security reasons”, the TTC cannot give out any details about its security measures.

“It can be scary at nights when it’s empty and you are the only one working. Mainly because they didn’t even catch the robber yet,” said a TTC employee working at the station, who wished to remain anonymous.

The employee said that while the cameras are helpful they cannot prevent a robbery.

“We have cameras but how would that help me when I am at gunpoint? As for security it’s still the same, didn’t see anything new.”

Nicholson said for security, the TTC offers different safety programs such as request stop on surface routes 9 p.m. – 5 a.m., designated waiting areas on subway and RT platforms with intercoms, and security cameras.

“We have security cameras in all of our buses, streetcars and subway and there is presence of Toronto Police, and transit patrol unit,” he said. “Over the years we have reunited hundreds of small children with their families.”

In addition, victims of assault have often found refuge on the TTC and have always been protected until the police arrived.

“Our employees are the eyes and ears of our system and they are always watching over things,” Nicholson said.

While violent attacks are rare at TTC, verbal assaults are common, and TTC employees are eager for a more immediate form of security.
Currently police are looking for a white, heavyset man between the age of 35 and 50 and between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 9 inches in height, who they believe was involved in all three incidents connected to the Dupont station robbery.

If you or anyone you know has information that could help with this case, please contact 14 Division at (416) 808-1400.
The TTC is the third most heavily used transit system in North America and in 2011, the average daily ridership for the TTC was 2.59 million passengers.

Tags: Annex · News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Julia // Dec 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Cannot believe these are still going on! Hopefully the reward urges people into action.