Several charged in mass theft, break-in investigation across Muskoka, Simcoe County, GTA

Several people have been arrested and charged in an investigation into 16 separate reported thefts and break-ins, mostly in Muskoka and Simcoe County but also in the Greater Toronto Area, Bracebridge OPP say.

The investigation, dubbed Project Axle, lasted several months and involved the reported theft of different types of equipment.

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On Friday, officers executed several search warrants in the Southern Georgian Bay area and arrested two men.

Police say Jason Hoolans, 46, from Penetanguishene, Ont., was arrested on Friday and has also been arrested in previous months.

Hoolans is facing more than 50 charges in total, including 11 counts of theft over $5,000, six counts of breaking and entering and eight counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.

Justin Robitaille, 35, from Tiny Township, Ont., is also facing nine charges, police say, including three counts of destroying, altering or removing a vehicle identification number and two counts of theft under $5,000.

Investigators say that prior to Friday, there have been multiple arrests related to Project Axle.

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Ina Hoolans, 39, from Penetanguishene, Ont., was previously charged with 12 offences, including four counts of theft over $5,000, two counts of theft under $5,000 and breaking and entering.

Wesley Thompson, 50, from Bracebridge, Ont., was also previously charged with seven offences, including two counts of theft over $5,000 as well as breaking and entering.

Bradley Zavala, 42, from North York, Ont., was previously charged with one count of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.

Jason Hoolans and Robitaille both had an audio remand hearing on Saturday. The rest of the accused’s cases are before the courts.

Police believe this investigation with continue to solve theft investigations throughout the OPP’s central region in the coming months.

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