Toronto

Toronto, Durham police probing multiple overnight carjacking attempts

As carjacking numbers in the region continue to surge, both Toronto and Durham police say they are investigating a number of similar overnight incidents.

Total of 6 incidents reported overnight in 2 regions

Police probe rash of carjackings in Toronto area

3 months ago
Duration 1:59
Toronto-area police are investigating a string of carjackings, suggesting thieves have been exporting stolen cars to countries abroad where they’re sold for lucrative profit.

As carjacking numbers in the region continue to surge, both Toronto and Durham police say they are investigating a number of similar overnight incidents.

According to a news release from Toronto police, four similar carjacking attempts happened in less than two hours in Scarborough overnight.

The first happened at 11:44 p.m. in the McLevin Avenue and Greenspire Road area. Police say a person was standing beside their car in their driveway when a man approached with a gun and demanded the keys. The suspect was unsuccessful and took off empty-handed, police say.

The second incident happened just five minutes later, in the Morningside Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East area. Again, a man approached a victim in their driveway and demanded their vehicle — except this time he was successful, and took off in their car. No injuries were reported.

Toronto police say they are investigating multiple carjackings overnight in Scarborough, while Durham police are investigating two attempted carjackings in Pickering. (Barry Smith/CBC)

Then the same thing happened at 12:32 a.m. at another residence in the Kennedy Road and Glamorgan Avenue area. The man drove off in the victim's vehicle, and no injuries were reported.

The final incident happened at 1:15 a.m. in the Pharmacy Avenue and McNicoll Avenue area. Again, a man approached someone in their driveway before pulling a gun and demanding their vehicle, but this time he was unsuccessful and took off.

Police say they believe all four incidents are related and plan to release a suspect description when it is available.

Carjacking attempts made in Pickering

Durham police also reported similar carjacking attempts in Pickering overnight. In a news release, investigators said that around 10:40 p.m., a woman was sitting in her vehicle in the area of Sheppard Avenue and Whites Road when a man knocked on her window and told her to roll it down.

She refused, and when he lifted up his shirt to show his waistband, she quickly drove off.

Then around 11:15 p.m., a man was getting out of his car in the area of Kingston Road and Brock Road when a man holding a gun demanded his keys.

The victim refused, and that's when he was pistol whipped, police say. He then punched the gunman in the face and was able to run off, police say. The suspect also fled the area.

The suspect in both Pickering incidents is described as a man with dark skin in his mid 20s, standing about five foot eight to five foot eleven, with a thin build and all black clothing.

Investigators are asking for any witnesses with video in either area to contact police.

Carjackings in Toronto set to eclipse number in all of 2021

The number of carjackings in the Toronto this year garnered national attention earlier this month when Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner was carjacked outside of a movie theatre.

In a news release earlier this week, Toronto police said investigators had seen 94 carjackings so far this year, compared to 102 in all of 2021.

Police also said 39 arrests had been made.

Stephen Metelsky, a criminology professor at Mohawk College in Hamilton and a retired police sergeant, told CBC News that typically, carjacking suspects are interested in specific makes and models — usually higher-end vehicles from brands like Lexus, Range Rover and BMW, which end up in shipping containers to head overseas.

He said it's important to remember that would-be carjackers are often armed.

"If [you] are confronted, give the vehicle up. Property can always be replaced, human life cannot," he said.

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