carjackings toronto

2022 is the year of carjackings in Toronto and John Tory is asking for help to address it

Drivers in and around Toronto have been staying extra vigilant ever since the carjacking of Toronto Maple Leafs player Mitch Marner last week, but the high profile crime is just one among a spree of auto thefts lately — something that police and politicians are struggling to address.

There has been incident after incident, some within just minutes of one another, making the GTA feel far too much like the video game that shares the same acronym for a name.

The York Regional Police shared a shocking montage of footage from some of the offences, which the force called part of "an emerging trend" on the rise.

Many of the thieves, like in the case of those who nabbed Marner's Range Rover, have been armed with guns and knives as they violently toss drivers out of their vehicles, often in broad daylight.

Some have taken place in private driveways on quiet residential streets, others brashly in very public places: a packed parking lot, a gas station, even in the middle of a busy intersection. (The pair of suspects in that case managed crash one stolen vehicle before stopping another driver and taking their car. They were both eventually apprehended, the force noted.) 

It's become such a notable issue that the Ontario Liberal party has made it a part of its platform, vowing to take "urgent action" against the brazen crimes.

It's something that Mayor John Tory has also said he's "troubled" by, prompting him to send appeals to both the federal and provincial governments for help.

In his latest newsletter to the public, he stated that auto thefts in the region are up a whopping 55 per cent over last year, marking the biggest jump of any major crime tracked by law enforcement.

In just five months, Toronto alone has seen 93 incidents, which is only 10 fewer than the number of carjackings that happened in all of 2021, and way more than the only 21 seen by this time last year — a year when the city was already imploring other levels of governments to help stop rampant car thefts.

Police have upped patrols of certain parts of Toronto as a result, while Tory plans to "help form city-wide dedicated investigative teams" that will work with authorities provincewide to tackle the sprees.

He's also asking the province to assemble a task force dedicated solely to the crime, along with suggesting additional measures on the insurance and auto industry end.

Higher-end vehicles seem to be prime targets, and a number of the crimes are presumed to be connected

Authorities have advised people to lock their doors at all time and keep a closer eye on their surroundings — and also to simply give up their vehicle if confronted to prevent the crime from escalating into something more serious and even deadly.

Lead photo by

York Regional Police

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