Toronto

Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner's SUV stolen in armed carjacking Monday

The Toronto Maple Leafs say Mitch Marner was the victim of a carjacking in Toronto on Monday evening.

Team says the hockey player was unharmed in the robbery

Mitch Marner and the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday in a seventh and deciding game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)

Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner was the victim of a carjacking in Toronto on Monday evening, the team has confirmed.

The team says the hockey player was unharmed in the incident.

"The Club & Mitch are thankful for Toronto Police Services' support," the Leafs said in a tweet Tuesday.

The team said police have asked that neither Marner nor the club comment any further on the details of the incident "as this is an ongoing investigation."

Toronto police tweeted they were called to The Queensway and Islington Avenue area around 7:46 p.m. for reports of a man robbed of his car.

Police are searching for three suspects armed with two handguns and a knife, who took off in a black Range Rover outside a movie theatre.

Toronto police said they were called to The Queensway and Islington Avenue area around 7:46 p.m. for reports of a man robbed of his car. (James Spalding/CBC)

Police said there were no injuries, but would not give any information out on the victims or witnesses.

At a new conference Tuesday, Insp. Rich Harris told reporters that detectives are working on the case "feverishly," and said the victim complied with the demands of the carjackers, though he did not identify Marner by name.

Harris said Toronto police have seen 60 carjackings already in the city this year, compared to 59 in all of 2021.

"These are nearly all sold for profit," he said, adding that police have made 20 carjacking arrests this year.

He also said there is usually a level of sophistication with these types of crimes in the city, with some stolen vehicles ending up being shipped overseas.

WATCH | Marner carjacked amid spike in brazen thefts:

Leafs’ Mitch Marner carjacked in Toronto amid spike in brazen thefts

1 month ago
Duration 2:02
Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner was left unharmed after being carjacked at gunpoint outside a movie theatre on Monday night. He’s the latest victim in a wave of carjackings targeting high-end vehicles across the Greater Toronto Area.

Carjacking also an issue in York Region

Marner's teammate Jason Spezza reflected on the carjacking Tuesday morning.

"It's scary, that's life. That's not hockey," Spezza said.

The incident comes a day after York Regional Police released a video about car hijackings being on the rise in the Greater Toronto Area.

In the video, the force in the region north of Toronto says thieves are typically following cars when they park, ambushing drivers when they exit their cars and stealing their car keys by force.

It also notes that the heists often involve high-end brands like Mercedes Benz, Audi and Porsche.

In a Toronto Police Service board meeting earlier this year, the service reported that auto thefts were up 58 per cent between 2017 and 2020 and up another 8 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020.

In 2021, about 80,000 vehicles were stolen across Canada, a one per cent increase from the previous year, according to Equite Association, an organization formed from the investigative branch of the Insurance Bureau of Canada and CANATICS, which analyzes auto thefts across the country.

The big targets were cars with push-button ignition systems, which are the vast majority of vehicles on the road, officials said. High-end cars were also targeted, but so too were reliable, abundant vehicles like Honda CR-Vs and Civics.

The Lexus RX350, the 2019-2017 models, were the top three stolen cars in Ontario in 2021, Equite said.

Honda, Lexus, Range Rovers all targeted

In Toronto, the Honda CR-V was the top car stolen last year, with 654 nabbed, followed by the Lexus RX350, with 418 taken. Range Rovers and Toyota Highlanders were also among the most stolen.

Police are advising all drivers to be aware of their surroundings and to call 911 if they suspect they are being followed.

Marner and the Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday in a seventh and deciding game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

With files from CBC News

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