Motorcycle gang opens new London clubhouse, in move that could herald trouble with rival Hells Angels

After years of lying low in London, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club appears to be flexing its muscle by opening a new clubhouse in the city, a move one expert warns could spark a violent clash with the Hells Angels.

The Outlaws, a biker gang with chapters across the globe, have set up a clubhouse in a single-storey commercial building at 1103 Brydges St., located on the same block as the London police reporting centre.

One source said the move is likely an attempt by the Outlaws to push back at the Hells Angels’ hold on the city’s lucrative drug trade.

The new headquarters for the Outlaws motorcycle gang in London, Ont. is located on Brydges Street. (MIKE HENSEN, The London Free Press)

The new headquarters for the Outlaws motorcycle gang in London, Ont. is located on Brydges Street. (MIKE HENSEN, The London Free Press)

 

But an organized crime expert said the Hells Angels — numbering around a dozen full-patch ­members in London — won’t let their rivals expand on their turf, warning that a battle between the two clubs may end in gun violence.

“The Angels will never let them back in,” said Yves Lavigne, a biker expert who’s written several books on outlaw motorcycle clubs.

The head of the OPP’s biker enforcement unit said he’s aware of the east-end clubhouse and police have been monitoring the location.

“The return to London is not a surprise, as there has been a presence in London by the Outlaws all along — they just had no clubhouse,” Det.-Sgt. Len Isnor wrote in an email.

Opening a London chapter in 1977, the Outlaws dominated the city’s criminal biker scene for decades until the Hells Angels opened a prospect chapter in 2001.

Things went from bad to worse for the Outlaws after that.

Several prominent Outlaws — including the chapter president — patched over to their bitter rivals. A provincewide police bust in 2002 called Project Retire put dozens of Ontario Outlaws behind bars, though relatively few ended up serving much time.

Some remaining Outlaws tried to start a Bandidos chapter, which was destroyed by the massacre of eight Bandidos in 2006 and prison terms for six others.

The gang’s clubhouse on Egerton Street was demolished in 2009, but supporters of the club remained in London.

News of the Outlaws clubhouse came as a shock to the owner of the Brydges Street building, Amy Chan, who said the property manager hadn’t told her about the new tenant.

“I’m going to discuss it with him,” she said.

Decals depicting AOA (American Outlaws Association), written in the club’s signature font, were plastered above the front door of the building, which is outfitted with multiple surveillance cameras. But the letters were covered up a day after The Free Press inquired about the clubhouse.

Motorcycles with the Outlaws skull and pistons logo have been seen parked outside the building.

Inside, the 1,500-square-foot space used to be offices, said one former tenant, but there’s access to other parts of the building which totals about 29,000 sq. ft.

The Outlaws may not be getting a luxury space. The building had a leaking roof and mould problems a few years ago, the ex-tenant said.

Signs of a clubhouse opening surfaced on the Outlaws Canada website in March, with one person saying he was looking forward to the opening in London.

London police, who work with the OPP’s biker enforcement unit, also have the clubhouse on their radar.

“We’re aware that they’ve opened a clubhouse in London and we’re currently monitoring the situation,” said spokesperson Const. Sandasha Bough.

London’s bylaw boss was tight-lipped when asked whether the bikers are violating zoning rules.

“We can neither confirm nor deny if we have any active zoning complaints at that address,” Orest Katolyk wrote in an email.

Coun. Jesse Helmer, whose Ward 4 includes the clubhouse, said he hasn’t had any constituents complain about the bikers, but added that he heard there was a large gathering of motorcycles at the building over the weekend.

Area residents, none of whom wanted to be identified, said they have no problem with the bikers’ presence in the neighbourhood.

Lavigne dismissed their nonchalance, saying neighbours fear retribution from speaking out against the bikers.

“The neighbours say they aren’t afraid, but they are. I sympathize with these people,” he said.

History has shown biker hangouts are often the scenes violence in London.

A series of arsons at biker-owned business in 2012 escalated into the shooting of Hells Angels member Diamond Ialenti near the gang’s Grey Street clubhouse and gunshots fired at a private home owned by a man with ties to the Outlaws.

In 2015, Steve Sinclair was fatally shot outside a social club frequented by members of the Gate Keepers, a support club for the Hells Angels.

Isnor, however, downplayed the possibility of conflict resulting from the Outlaws’ beefed public presence in London.

“We have no information to believe that there is any potential for violence,” he said. “However we are aware of the history of violence between the HA and the Outlaws and we will be taking all the precautions to keep the community safe.”

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Country: 
News Article written by: 
Dale Carruthers, Randy Richmond
Source of News article: 
lfpress.com




Related Articles


Elk Hunt   Fly Fishing Guide
  Silver Stock
  Biker News

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World. This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service, you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must Click Here to contact acting agent.