Montreal police announced Friday they have arrested a suspect in connection with a burglary last November in a West Island jewelry store that netted thieves hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
Daniel Simard, 50, of Lachine was arrested April 28 and appeared in court the same day to face charges of breaking and entering, theft and mischief. Investigators are seeking a second suspect in connection with the West Island break-in.
Brothers Rami and Adnan Safadi, the owners of Bijouterie Futuriste, told the Journal de Montréal that jewelry worth more than $1.2 million was taken from their store in Kirkland. They said the heist wiped out their life savings and has burdened them with considerable debt.
On the night of Nov. 29, a surveillance camera in their jewelry store on St-Charles Blvd. recorded two people breaking into the establishment. The thieves made off with diamonds, jewels and luxury watches.
During the investigation, several of the items were recovered, but most of the merchandise that was looted remains missing.
Simard is also charged with breaking into a dry cleaning business next to Bijouterie Futuriste on the same day. The two businesses are part of strip mall in Kirkland at the corner of St-Charles and Brunswick Blvds.
He is also charged with carrying out three break-ins in Châteauguay sometime between Sept. 5 and 7. All three of the businesses, including a jewelry store, are inside the same shopping centre on D’Anjou Blvd. in Châteauguay.
Simard is detained and his case returns to court on May 18.
He has a lengthy criminal record that dates back to 1991 and includes a 2017 guilty plea at the Trois-Rivières courthouse to seven counts of breaking and entering. He was sentenced to an overall 50-month prison term.
In 2012, at the Sherbrooke courthouse, he pleaded guilty to two break-ins and was sentenced to a 30-month prison term. According to a decision made by the Parole Board of Canada the following year, it was the fourth federal sentence (a prison term of more than two years) Simard had received as an adult. At least one of the break-ins he pleaded guilty to involved an accomplice and was carried out at a jewelry store.
“Immune to the negative repercussions of your actions, crime is for you a choice of life and your main motivation remains money to support yourself. You have committed most of your offences in the company of accomplices. Your targets are businesses, which requires a certain refinement and planning,” the parole board wrote in 2013 while summarizing Simard’s criminal record. “You never have worked in a legal way in your life and show no respect for the law, authority and rules of society.”
Anyone with any information on the identity of the second suspect or the whereabouts of the remaining stolen goods in the Kirkland burglary is urged to call 911 or, if they prefer to remain anonymous, Info-Crime Montreal at 514 393-1133.