A rash of crimes spanning Muskoka, Springwater, Severn and Simcoe landed a man in a Bracebridge courtroom last week.
On Tuesday Jason Hoolans, 47, of Penetanguishene, pleaded to a range of crimes including stealing trailers from multiple locations, stealing a skid steer and an ATV, break and enter, possessing the stolen keys to a Sea-Doo and breaching multiple court orders.
On March 26, 2020 the Bracebridge OPP arrested three individuals, including Hoolans, in possession of a stolen float trailer and a Caterpiller 259D Skid Steer.
At approximately 1:30 a.m., an officer observed two vehicles on Lake Joseph Road, one of which was towing a skid steer on a float trailer.
An investigation ensued and both vehicles were stopped on Muskoka Road 169 in Muskoka Lakes Township. As a result, three people were arrested. The trailer was determined to have been stolen from the Orillia area while the Caterpiller Skid Steer was stolen from the Barrie area.
Then in June 2020, several people were arrested, including Hoolans, 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, according to the Bracebridge OPP.
The investigation, dubbed Project Axle, lasted several months and involved the reported theft of different types of equipment.
Court heard that Hoolans had been caught on CCTV on multiple occasions stealing trailers from compounds in Simcoe County and Huntsville.
Court heard that Hoolans has a lengthy record, and lawyers for the Crown and defense put forward a joint submission for 18 months in custody, less time he had already served under house arrest and in pre-trial custody.
The judge agreed to the joint position and also ordered Hoolans to pay back restitution to several businesses and individuals.
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