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New charges for Chinatown thief

Anthony Bennett, the thief who gained notoriety after being captured by a Chinatown grocer, has been arrested yet again.

Anthony Bennett, the thief who gained notoriety after being captured by a Chinatown grocer, has been arrested yet again.

The 52-year-old, who has 43 convictions, was charged Friday with five counts of theft under $5,000, according to Toronto police Staff Sgt. David Woodley. He would not confirm reports Bennett is accused of stealing plants from Jungle Fruit, a Kensington market fruit store, earlier this spring.

The arrest came just three days after Bennett took the stand as the Crown’s star witness in the trial of David Chen, the owner of the Lucky Moose grocery store on Dundas Street West.

Chen and two store employees are facing charges of assault and forcible confinement for allegedly detaining Bennett in May 2009 after he stole flowers for a second time in a matter of hours. The men chased him down, tied him up with twine and put him in the back of a white van.

Supporters of the defendants, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, consider them vigilante heroes who refused to put up with petty thievery and, instead, made a citizen’s arrest. The Crown maintains the grocers used excessive force, and Bennett had not been caught in a criminal act when the citizen’s arrest was made. A citizen’s arrest can only be made when someone is caught red-handed.

 
 
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