After an Ontario Provincial Police/ Ontario Racing Commission investigation into the theft of a $7,000 race bike at Flamboro Downs, a licensee has been arrested, charged and released on an appearance notice
. Driver Mark Pezzarello, Wheatley, Ont., has been charged with Possession of Stolen Property over $5,000, contrary to Sec. 354(1) (a) of the Criminal Code. Pezzarello’s first court appearance is scheduled for today in Milton.
The owner of the bike reported the theft to ORC officials. Detective Brian Arrand, one of the OPP officers seconded to the ORC Investigations Unit, was tasked with following up on the investigation of the stolen bike. After a detailed investigation, and with the expert assistance of an auto-theft specialist in OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, the stolen bike was recovered in Halton Region.
Using special techniques, the OPP were able to determine that the bike’s original serial numbers had been altered and that Pezzarello was in possession of the stolen bike in question.
“This is a good example of how the ORC’s partnership with the OPP benefits the racing community,” said ORC Deputy Director Rob McKinney. “Having this kind of access to a myriad of OPP specialist services helps maintain the integrity of racing.”
In addition to the Racing Commission Act, Rules of Racing and Provincial Offences Act, the seconded OPP detectives working for the ORC Investigations Unit are responsible for investigating Criminal Code offences within the industry.
The ORC Investigations Unit is conducting a parallel investigation into the status of Pezzarello’s ORC license.
“The integrity and fairness of our sport, and the protection of personal property, is shared by all participants in racing,” said McKinney. He encourages anyone aware of illegal conduct or with knowledge of stolen property in racing to contact the ORC or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Crime Stoppers is a not-for profit community-based charitable program involving the cooperative efforts of the community, the media and the police in the fight against crime.
The caller’s anonymity is protected, and they will never be asked to testify or be named. Cash rewards are offered to people who call the program and their information assists in an investigation.