trecce toronto

Toronto restaurant owners catch robber red-handed and the whole thing is on video

Toronto restaurant owners are sadly all too often the victims of break-ins, but one particular family-run spot caught their robber in the act.

In one recent case of a break-in this winter, the owner of The Old Sod almost bumped into the criminal that broke into his pub, as like many he lives above his place of business. 

This is also the case with the family that runs Trecce at 1792 Danforth, where two people broke in around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Sabrina Lorefice of the Trecce family posted a series of videos showing the pair walking up to the restaurant, a smashed glass front door, and most incredibly of all, a video of the family catching one of the robbers before they left.

"Two guys broke into my restaurant but because we live upstairs we heard them," Lorefice told blogTO. "We saw the guy come out and he attacked us and we managed to hold him down and get him. He kept on telling us he had a knife and was gonna stab us and kill us and kept threatening us."

Lorefice says her mother and sister called the police, but the family took matters into their own hands before they arrived, as can be seen in the video. Unfortunately, before officers showed up Lorefice and her family members were injured by the robber, who is shown struggling to get away before being kicked in the groin by one of the women.

"He bit me on both of my hands and they're both swollen and in pain right now. My right hand I can't move my fingers, and is bruised. My left hand has a bite mark and my arms are all scratched. He scratched my sister. He hurt my dad's hand as well. He kept on moving around and trying to escape but we all held him down," says Lorefice.

"We are all in pain right now but we are happy that we caught him because he has broken into other restaurants on the Danforth. One guy left before we even came down. So he is still on the loose." She added the she thinks he was "late 30s, early 40s."

The video of the family holding down the attacker, which is a nail biter at just over five minutes long, eventually shows police officers arriving, further restraining the robber, and arresting him. 

There are over a hundred comments on the video on Facebook, with many people supporting the family's actions and shouting out the women in particular for their fearlessness and kicking skills, though many worry for the danger they put themselves in. Some remark they just wish they'd been wearing shoes — or better yet, steel-toed boots.

Porch pirates, break-ins, assault and other kinds of crime have been on the rise during the pandemic, and while this is a horrible thing to happen to anyone at any time, it's a particularly brutal period for restaurants to be hit when they're already suffering during lockdown.

"Bad enough we are trying to survive and then we have to pay to get a new door. I'm sure myself and other restaurants don't have the money to pay for something like this. I hope this ends. Thankfully at the end of the day we are safe," says Lorefice.

Lead photo by

Sabrina Lorefice

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