Toronto police make first arrests after banks vandalized

At least one person has been arrested in connection with anti-G20 graffiti spray-painted on Toronto banks overnight.

Vandals spray-painted slogans such as “Resist G20″³ and “Stop G20″³ on bank walls, windows and ATMs.

As many as six banks were targeted in the Spadina and Dundas and the Spadina and College areas. The suspect reportedly rode a bicycle between his targets around 3 a.m. Investigators hope to learn more by reviewing security footage.

At least one person has been charged with mischief, according to reports.

“It’s quite clear that the billion dollars that’s spent is not there to protect taxpayers, it’s there to protect Stephen Harper’s photo-op,” city councillor Adam Vaughan said Friday morning.

“It’s just wrong. It wasn’t just the banks that got tagged – it’s … small businesses that got tagged.”

Mr. Vaughan, whose ward will likely be seriously affected by security surrounding the world leaders’ summit, expressed frustration on Thursday that the federal government will not be compensating homeowners or businesses for property damage sustained during the G20.

“The Prime Minister’s office has got to revisit this policy now,” Mr. Vaughan said. “I don’t understand the federal government that won’t protect its own citizens.”

A Royal Bank branch in Ottawa was also firebombed last week. No one was injured; initial estimates suggested the vandals caused $300,000 damage. On an independent media website, the perpetrators warned they are also headed for the G20 in Toronto.

That incident is cause for even more concern, Mr. Vaughan said. Many of the buildings are extremely old and vulnerable to fire, and low-income residents live above shops in the area, he stressed.

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