Police probe string of overnight Etobicoke break-ins
Man awoke to find prowler entering his bedroom
Toronto police say they do not have evidence at this point linking a series of overnight break-ins in Etobicoke to prior incidents that occurred in the west end earlier this month.
Three break-ins happened on residential streets near Bloor Street and Highway 427 in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
One of the break-ins occurred on Markwood Drive, where residents were home when someone tried to break into their house just before 5 a.m.
Two other break-and-enters were reported on nearby streets, one around 12:30 a.m., the other just before 4 a.m.
Police believe the three break-ins are related.
However, investigators say they do not have evidence that links the overnight break-ins to incidents that occurred in the Park Lawn Road and Berry Road area in early July.
'I chased him downstairs'
Early Wednesday, Mike Pastuszok, a resident on Markwood Drive, awoke to discover that someone had broken into his house and made their way upstairs.
"The light went on in the bedroom, and I saw a baseball cap kind of poke out from the door and I jumped up and said: 'There's somebody in the house,'" he said. "Once I realized somebody was in the house I jumped up and made chase. I chased him downstairs and out the door."
Pastuszok was unable to catch the suspect, who was dropping stolen items as he fled down the street and hopped over a fence. The items, mostly camera equipment, were found outside the house, though Pastuszok's wife's purse is missing.
The suspect entered the house through an unlocked ground-floor bathroom window.
"He had a chair that I guess got him up high enough," said Pastuszok, adding the suspect left his tools behind.
Suspect entered bedroom 'gingerly'
Steve Buck, who lives nearby on Trailsmoke Crescent, awoke to someone entering his bedroom "very gingerly."
Buck said he thought it was his son, but when he called out to the person standing at the foot of his bed and didn't receive a response, he decided to "wait and see what happens."
"I could hear him trying to creep across the floor because it was squeaky," Buck said. "I guess I stopped him with my question and he didn't proceed any further.
"After I decided it probably was an intruder I walked out, I checked out the kids' rooms, and phoned the police and they came over quite quickly," he said.
The suspect made off with his wife's camera, but nothing else.
"Violated...you just feel sick," Anne Buck said. "We think he came in the back door, the sliding doors, walked past three laptops, walked past my purse, my husband's phone, his wallet, and walked right up to our bedroom."
At one point, K-9 units were pursuing a suspect who managed to evade police.
"Just as they were taking fingerprints and taking photographs, we'd heard he'd broken into a house a few streets over," Buck said.
Police are appealing to the public for surveillance camera footage that may have captured an image of the suspect.
With files from CBC's Linda Ward