Police are investigating a suspected arson at a London strip club, the fourth suspicious fire at a property linked to the family of an alleged Hells Angels member.
Firefighters were called to a fire at the Beef Baron, located at 624 York St., east of Adelaide Street, around 1 a.m., Tuesday, police said.
The Beef Baron has been shuttered since September after the province ordered all strip clubs to close as part of a raft of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. A weekend antique market had set up shop in the club, but it’s not immediately clear whether it was still operating.
The overnight fire, which caused an estimated $5,000 damage and didn’t result in any injuries, comes five months after another suspicious blaze gutted a nearby King Street duplex where dancers from the club stayed. No arrests have been made in the Aug. 16 fire.
“That investigation is closed pending new information,” Const. Sandasha Bough said Tuesday of the summer fire.
Beef Baron operator Vincent Barletta, the brother of former London Hells Angels chapter president Robert Barletta, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Robert Barletta, 51, faces 25 charges including bookmaking, laundering proceeds of crime, fraud and tax evasion related to Operation Hobart, an investigation into an alleged multimillion-dollar gambling operation that police contend was run by members of the Hells Angels and an alleged Toronto crime family.
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As part of the investigation that led to charges against 35 people, court-approved restraints were placed several homes, restricting their sale or transfer while the police investigation is underway.
At least two of those houses have been destroyed by fires, including one at 203 Commissioners Rd. E. that was gutted by a suspected arson one week after its owner, Habiba Kajan, 44, was jointly charged with Barletta with weapons and bookmaking offences.
Operation Hobart was prompted by a Jan. 5, 2018, blaze at 363 Sunset Blvd. in Thornbury, police said. No arrests have been made in the case.
Property records show the home was owned by Salvatrice Barletta, the mother of Robert and Vincent.
Salvatrice and Domenico Barletta, believed to be her deceased husband, are the owners of the King Street duplex that was destroyed by fire, according to property records that list the owner’s mailing address as the Beef Baron.
The other house destroyed by fire while under police control as part of Operation Hobart was a five-bedroom home at 189 Lake Dr. in Thornbury, west of Collingwood, that had just sold for $7.9 million when fire ripped through it Jan. 11.
Homebuilder Michael Curtis, 37, and developer Douglas Lang Adams, 58, were charged in July with money laundering and possessing proceeds of crime as part of Operation Hobart. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and no arrests have been made.