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Friday, 23 December 2011

The Loners, an emerging outlaw motorcycle gang

The Loners, an emerging outlaw motorcycle gang in the city, threw a holiday party of sorts at a home Saturday.

City police and members of the OPP’s Biker Enforcement Unit weren’t on the guest list. But that didn’t stop them from showing up anyway, as a group of about 20 officers maintained a strong and visible presence in front of the property.

Officers took over the centre south and northbound lanes of the busy street, checking motorists who passed by.

The bulk of travellers were allowed to pass through the blockade without stopping their vehicles.

City police Sgt. Rob MacLean said officers weren’t prohibiting anyone from entering or exiting the property.

They were, however, checking identification of suspected bikers, taking pictures, conducting surveillance and had a prisoner transport van on hand in case an arrest was made.

Insp. Tim Farquharson said Loners from all over the province were expected at the Park St. home and possibly a few members of associated gangs.

The Loners moved into the clubhouse a couple of weeks ago, taking over the property after the Outlaws, another motorcycle gang, left it.

The Outlaws used to have a clubhouse on Lansdowne St. W., located on the outskirts of the city. In October police confirmed that the group abandoned that clubhouse in favour of the Park St. S. location.

Farquharson couldn’t say how many people were at the property Saturday, how many were expected or what exactly their plans were.

“This is to let them know we’re here,” he said, “and to let the community know we’re following up on this.”

There’s always a safety concern whenever a large group of a one-percent group gather together in one spot, he said.

Police weren’t sure how long they’d maintain their presence outside the home. Farquharson said they would re-evaluate the situation every couple of hours.

The strong police presence drew a lot of attention from the public. Rubber-necking motorists slowed to a crawl as they passed through the area, and pedestrians slowed their gait as they walked by


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