Montreal police arrest alleged serial jewel thief, a 50-year-old man

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An alleged serial jewel thief has been arrested for breaking into stores in the Montreal area last year.

Daniel Simard, 50, is facing charges over a break-in and theft at a jewelry shop in Kirkland, as well as one in Chateauguay.

Two men were captured on video at the Kirkland store during the theft, and police haven't yet apprehended the other man, they say.

Together, they stole "several hundred thousand dollars'" worth of goods, police say. A large portion of the stolen jewelry hasn't been recovered.

In the Kirkland theft, on the night of Nov. 29, two men were shown on surveillance video breaking into the store on Saint-Charles Blvd.

"They seized many valuables, including diamonds, gold, jewelry and luxury watches," police wrote in a release. 

In December, the store owner told CTV News that the surveillance video showed people rummaging through the shop's back room at about 2:30 a.m., and eventually breaking into the store's main safe.

He said they got in by cutting through a wall shared with a neighbouring business, a laundromat.

"They cut through the steel, they busted all the cement. And they broke through the safe and they made out with everything we have," said owner Rami Safadi.

His family "lost all our livelihood, we lost everything we ever worked for. All the jewelry, all the diamonds we had, all the watches, the money, the cash, the stock, repairs for customers, watches for customers."

His brother, Adnan Safadi, said they were near retirement age and didn't know what to do.

"All these years slowly to build up is not easy," he said. "I’m almost 60 years old. How could I restart from scratch again?"

They said they thought they lost over a million's worth of goods and that the store was not insured, which costs almost $70,000 a year for that amount of goods, and it wasn't feasible. 

The charges Simard faces include breaking and entering, theft and mischief.

Police provided fewer details on the second theft, saying simply that Simard "was also charged for similar events that took place in a Chateauguay jewelry store."

They're asking for the public's help identifying the second collaborator, including by the anonymous, confidential tip line at 514-393-1133.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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