Toronto police recovered 190 stolen laptops and more than $30,000 in cash at an Etobicoke computer shop and home on Tuesday.
A 42-year-old Toronto man faces 45 charges in connection with a scheme to sell the stolen computers, according to police.
Officers in 14 Division recently received a tip that led them to investigate MAAS Computers and Electronics on Islington Avenue, near Albion Road and Finch Avenue West.
Police executed search warrants at the business and at a private residence in the area of Islington Avenue and Highway 401, where they discovered the Apple laptops and $32,640 in cash.
“A total of 42 of the stolen computers have since been returned to their owners, many of whom were students,” police said Thursday in a news release.
Irina Papkov was among the lucky few. The York University student’s laptop was swiped last month while she took a study break in the library.
She explained she was surprised when police contacted her on Wednesday morning and told her she could come pick it up from a station.
“I didn’t expect to have it recovered at all,” Papkov said. “I’m never going to leave my laptop unattended in a library ever again.”
Det. Clayton Adams said the case reflects a recent rise in computer thefts.
“There’s been a lot of businesses broken into — a lot of them in the downtown core,” Adams told CBC Toronto.
Police won’t be able to return all of the stolen property, he said, since not all of the laptops were reported stolen. Adams highlighted the importance of declaring stolen goods to police.
“Record your serial number and report them to us,” he said. “We want to find the rightful owners of all the computers.”
Adams added that computers have always been a hot target for robberies.
Police advise anyone affected to look through their records for serial numbers and report their stolen devices to investigators.