One of the suspects is 42 years old. The others are teens ranging in age from 15 to 19.
All of them face armed robbery charges. Four are suspected ot taking part in an attempted armed robbery inside a Toronto high school last Thursday.
Organized crime expert Michael C. Chettleburgh says that in the past few years there's been a growing trend of collaborative relationships between experienced and inexperienced criminals. He says that may help to explain why one of the suspects is in his 40s and the others are under 20.
"It makes sense for them to recruit the younger youth who have no fear," he said. "Who have been conditioned on violence, who want to earn their stripes at the street level in terms of violent crime."
On the same day as the attempted robberies at Thistletown Collegiate, Najeeb Tariq received a phone call at about 1 p.m. after armed thieves tried to rob his store.
Tariq said his employee called him and told him there was an attempted robbery.
"I realized something is wrong so I ran and ... came in the secure area near the cash) and closed the door. He ran after me and tried to break the door. He couldn't do that," recounted Mohsen Javed.
Tariq says extra safety and security measures he took after another attempted armed robbery a few years ago paid off.
Tariq says he suspects the four armed robbers may have been some of the same group who tried to hold up students at Thistletown.
Police allege the group committed about 18 armed robberies between Jan. 8 and March 7.
"They'd be stealing cellphones, money, lottery tickets and cigarettes," said Const. Victor Kwong.
Stefan Kendall, 42, of Toronto; Abdikarim Abdi, 18, of Toronto; Abdikarim Nur, 19, of Toronto; Yonis Hashi, 19, of Brampton; Mohamed Ali-Mudei, 18, of Toronto; Djama Riyaleh, 18, of Toronto; Khalid Hassan, 19, of Toronto; and three young offenders have been charged with a number of offences linked to the armed robberies.
Hashi, Ali-Mudei, Riyaleh and Hassan have been charged in connection with the attempted armed robberies at Thistletown Collegiate.