Toronto-area police have responded to three late-night, smash-and-grab thefts at retail stores in a 24-hour period, with vehicles used as a battering ram in two of the thefts.
At about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, Peel Police responded to a smash-and-grab at Riders Choice motorcycle shop, located at the corner of Dixie Road and the Queensway.
Police say suspects drove a vehicle through the front doors and made off with merchandise, including $36,000 worth of leather riding suits, helmets and boots.
Two sets of glass doors and a metal gate were smashed and pushed back almost through to the back of the store.
"They must have parked the car in there, loaded it up and off they went," said store owner John McBride.
Police are looking for a Mercedes with heavy damage to the rear of the car.
$100,000 in goods taken from Yorkville Prada
About 90 minutes later, Toronto police responded to a similar theft attempt at the Prada store on Bloor Street in Yorkville.
There thieves broke the front glass door and made off with merchandise, including a number of handbags worth $2,000 each. Store staff estimate the total value of stolen merchandise to be about $100,000. Police believe the thieves made their escape in a white BMW X5.
Those thefts follow a failed smash-and-grab attempt involving a vehicle at the Sporting Life store in Sherway Gardens mall early Tuesday.
There suspects used a pickup truck to ram through the glass doors just after 12:30 a.m. The stolen truck, with its bed loaded with clothing, was abandoned when the car became disabled.
Witnesses said two suspects fled in a second vehicle.
Police say it’s too early to say whether any of the recent smash-and-grabs are related, but they are investigating the possibility.
"We don't have anything that definitively connects all three, but because of the similarities, that's certainly something the investigators feel …is a very strong possibility," said Peel Regional Police Const. Lilly Fitzpatrick.