Woman, 78, released after arrest in sausage tampering case

Toronto’s needles-in-sausages case took another bizarre turn Friday when a 78-year-old woman was arrested at a west-end grocery store. The woman, who lives within walking distance of all of her alleged crime scenes, was arrested Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Loblaws on Dundas St. West, just south of Bloor St. She faces 10 counts of mischief for allegedly inserting sewing needles into various brands of sausages at different grocery stores in the High Park, Junction Triangle and Dufferin Grove neighbourhoods since the start of the year.

The Toronto Star
July 10, 2010

Woman, 78, released after arrest in sausage tampering case
Brendan Kennedy

Loblaws.jpeg

A woman was arrested Friday at the Loblaws on Dundas St. W., just south of Bloor St., in relation to an ongoing food tampering investigation. ANDREW WALLACE/TORONTO STAR

Toronto’s needles-in-sausages case took another bizarre turn Friday when a 78-year-old woman was arrested at a west-end grocery store.

The woman, who lives within walking distance of all of her alleged crime scenes, was arrested Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Loblaws on Dundas St. West, just south of Bloor St.

She faces 10 counts of mischief for allegedly inserting sewing needles into various brands of sausages at different grocery stores in the High Park, Junction Triangle and Dufferin Grove neighbourhoods since the start of the year.

Loblaws staff refused to discuss Friday’s arrest, and store manager Henry Prieto deferred all comment to Loblaws head office, which did not respond to phone or email requests.

Police would not say much about the arrest, but Sgt. Lee Bishop said the woman was “not caught in the act.”

She was released into her family’s care and is scheduled to appear in bail court on Aug. 23.

“There are family members who will make sure she stays out of trouble until her court date,” Bishop said, adding that the woman has no prior criminal record, is not known to police and did not pose a flight risk, so there were no grounds to withhold bail.
Last month, police warned the public of five cases of food tampering — all related to Piller’s sausages — that took place in May at a series of west-end grocery stores. In each case, customers discovered the needles embedded in the sausages before eating them and no injuries were reported.

“Luckily most people were eagle-eyed enough to catch it before they ate it,” Bishop said.

The needles were found at No Frills stores at 900 Dufferin St., 372 Pacific Ave., 2187 Bloor St. W. and a Price Chopper at 2440 Dundas St. W.

The warning prompted Piller’s to release a statement saying the needles must have been inserted after they had been delivered to stores.

“All Piller’s processing facilities and packaging lines are equipped with metal detection devices and are monitored and validated several times a day during production,” read the unsigned statement.

Staff Sgt. Philip Van Andel said there is “strong evidence to support the fact that [the accused] was responsible,” but he refused to provide details, saying they would come out at trial.

Van Andel added that although bail conditions are not being released, “the public is served with those conditions.”

Nobody answered the door at the woman’s home on Keele St. Saturday afternoon.

http://olympics.thestar.com/2010/article/834508


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