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article image'Sweet' old lady allegedly the Piller's tamperer Special

By KJ Mullins     Jul 11, 2010 in Crime
Toronto - An elderly woman was arrested on Friday at the Loblaws on Dundas Street West near Bloor Street. The arrest could end the mystery of how needles got into Piller's sausages last month.
The suspect is a 78-year-old woman who lived within walking distance of each of the stores that were allegedly involved in the food tampering cases in June; No Frills stores at 900 Dufferin St., 372 Pacific Ave., 2187 Bloor St. W. and a Price Chopper at 2440 Dundas St. W.
Sergeant Lee Bishop, 11 Division Toronto Police Services, said during a phone interview that the suspect was released into family care.
"She can not go to the store as per her release conditions," Bishop said adding, "She was released and will be staying with a close family member. The family member does not live in the area where the crimes were committed."
The woman was not caught in the act on Friday when the arrest took place. There are few details on what lead up to the arrest.
Josephine Baz has been charged with 10 counts of mischief. She will be in court on August 23.
"The charges are for mischief not public mischief. In the case of mischief charges there is a danger to society," Bishop explained.
Bishop said that the Crown will take into consideration the age of Baz and any past history when it comes to sentencing. Because of her age the Crown may decide not to charge Baz with an indictable offense. Regardless of how Baz is charged she could very well be facing jail time and a fine. The Crown is likely to have a psychological testing be ordered as well said Bishop.
"The one thing in Ms. Baz's favor is that no one ended up getting hurt."
While no consumers were hurt by the food tampering in this case the company affected can be.
In June Piller's released a statement saying that they were working with the Toronto Police Department to insure the safety of the public concerning the incidents of product tampering.
" All Piller’s facilities are CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) registered establishments and are monitored by the CFIA. An important part of this federal monitoring programme is the metal detection capabilities of our production facilities. 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. The needles in question are definitely detectable by our metal detection programme.
These products are distributed nationally to thousands of locations across Canada. The products that were tampered with were purchased in a localized area of West Toronto."
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