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'Heavy police presence' remains as OPP probe James Street incident

Police not releasing many details; Neighbours report on social media that gun-toting men entered restaurant at around 1 a.m.

The Orillia OPP continue to investigate an incident that drew dozens of officers to the James Street area at about 1 a.m. this morning

Orillia OPP Const. Ted Dongelmans said he could not divulge any details about the incident this morning, noting police are still on the scene.

According to social media, there was a heavy police presence in the area starting at around 1 a.m.

A person who lives above the former BJ’s Restaurant on Forest Avenue said four people, carrying guns, entered the restaurant, which is under new ownership.

The upstairs tenant called 911. She said a police helicopter soon arrived and noted a canine unit was also being used to track suspects.

Street corners in the area were blocked off by cruisers and officers were searching the area.

The OPP issued a short media release at about 2:30 a.m.

It said: "Currently there is a heavy police presence in the area of James Street East and Atherley Road. Officers are requesting area residents to ensure their doors are locked and to remain inside their homes.”

A little over an hour later, OPP issued a short update:

"Police have concluded operations in the area of James Street East and Atherley Road and determined there is no additional threat to public safety. Officers are continuing their investigation and further updates will be released later today.

If residents locate suspicious items near their properties, please do not touch the item and contact the Orillia OPP.

Dongelmans said nothing beyond the news releases could be released this morning. He said he is hopeful to be able to release more information later today.