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Spree of GTA robberies continues overnight

Last Updated Aug 31, 2018 at 6:42 am EST

Police tape is shown in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Halton police are investigating if an overnight hold-up is connected to a rash of armed robberies that happened Thursday morning across the GTA.

The latest robbery took place at Royal Pizza on Guelph in Georgetown.

It was reported that four suspects entered the restaurant, committed the robbery and then fled the scene in a dark coloured Honda.

Police said there was a pursuit of the vehicle but it was quickly called off and the suspects made good their escape.

According to police, the suspects’ vehicle matches that of the one used as a get away car in the previous robberies — including the same reported license plate, which is from a stolen vehicle.

Police also believe the same group may have robbed stores in Erin, Caledon, Dundas, Ancaster and Waterdown overnight.

The string of robberies across the GTA prompted Toronto police to issue a public safety warning.

Police said that over the span of a couple of hours, as many as 15 robberies happened in Toronto, Halton and Peel Region, targeting gas stations and convenience stores.

It’s believed the robberies were pulled off by a group of men, three of which were possibly armed with guns.

Peel police say some store employees were assaulted during the robberies. None of the injuries are considered serious.

“Unfortunately some of the employees of the establishments, they were pushed and slapped. No major injuries, nobody was transported to hospital,” said Peel Police Const. Harinder Sohi.

The three suspects were all described as black males with slim builds wearing hooded sweaters and each had their face disguised — one with a dark coloured balaclava, one with a dark coloured mask and the third with a light coloured bandana.

“They have identified the same group involved of all of these robberies. There may be more, we’re still investigating,” said Toronto Police Const. David Hopkinson. “What we’ve seen is they’ve indicated guns in some of their robberies. There may have been some cars stolen or car jackings that occurred in relation to these robberies as well.”

A Rabba Fine Foods location on Hurontario Street in Mississauga was among the stores robbed. An employee told CityNews three to four men came into the convenience store with their faces covered. The men allegedly jumped over the counter where the cashier was, pushed him and punched him in the stomach. They then allegedly opened the cash register and took $1,300 before fleeing the scene.

A Subway sandwich shop at Millcreek Drive and Erin Mills Parkway and a Canadian Tire gas station at Dixie Road and Eglinton Avenue were also hit.

In Oakville, Halton police confirm a Pizza Nova location on Ford Drive was also robbed by three men just before midnight. One of the robbers reportedly had a weapon but it was not used, police say.

In Milton, the Big Bear convenience store on Main Street East was also struck. The owner of the store tells CityNews that security footage shows three people with their faces covered coming into the store and taking everything from the cash register. He says the cashier suffered an upper leg injury due to broken glass.