Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Chainsaw slices through strip club's roof

Businessman arrested after bizarre vandalism

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A local businessman who was once known as a biker associate was arrested this week after a St. Boniface strip bar was extensively vandalized.

Ray Rybachuk, 42, was arrested late Thursday morning and taken into custody, charged with two counts of mischief over $5,000, mischief under $5,000 and two counts of uttering threats to damage property.

A source familiar with the investigation said police were called to Teasers Burlesque Palace, at Archibald Street and Marion Street, just after 11 a.m. Thursday by staff who said a man had climbed onto the building and was using a chainsaw to cut holes into the roof.

A suspect was arrested at the scene.

Teasers is at the Chalet Hotel.

On Tuesday afternoon, Chalet Hotel staff reported a man went into the men's and women's washrooms and smashed all the toilets.

Damage to the hotel from the two incidents is estimated in excess of $50,000.

Rybachuk is being held at the downtown Provincial Remand Centre. He is scheduled to appear in bail court Monday morning.

Between 1994 and 2002, Rybachuk was convicted of money laundering, possessing proceeds of crime, drug trafficking and assault.

The Winnipeg police intelligence unit identified Rybachuk in 1999 as an associate of the former Los Brovos motorcycle gang, which later became the local chapter of the Hells Angels.

After serving time in prison, Rybachuk operated a property-management and home-renovation business in the North End. The business, North Central Properties, was operated out of an Ellice Avenue location used for a similar venture that was owned by an Alberta man identified as a ringleader in a massive $30-million mortgage fraud. Rybachuk started his business after the Alberta man was arrested.

Rybachuk was later a partner in a group that purchased and renovated the Boyd Medical Centre and adjoining property on downtown Portage Avenue and subsequently became embroiled in a dispute with city hall when he erected a giant digital billboard without approval. He was eventually forced to remove the sign.

More recently, he became a partner with one-time Internet pharmacy pioneer Daren Jorgenson in the ownership and renovation of the Royal Albert Hotel.

Last month, Jorgenson stated he has foreclosed on Rybachuk's 50 per cent share on the Royal Albert and plans to sell the property.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2013 A4

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