Toronto police lay 54 charges after dramatic arrests in carjacking probe

Toronto police lay 54 charges after dramatic arrests in carjacking probe

Toronto police lay 54 charges after dramatic arrests in carjacking probe

At Toronto Police Headquarters, investigators are providing an update on a carjacking investigation. Before inviting Superintendent Andy Singh and Inspector Joe Mattis to speak, I want to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of our officers in combating auto thefts and carjackings in our city.

Today, we’re here to share details about the remarkable arrests made last Friday evening. However, I want to be clear that this situation is not unique regarding the crimes or the commitment shown by our officers, who consistently put themselves in harm’s way for public safety. The individuals committing these crimes are violent and not deterred by the threat of arrest. Several charges, including failure to comply with release orders and breach of probation, attest to their blatant disregard for the law.

This particular incident involved two carjackings resulting in three arrests and three firearm seizures. A total of 54 charges have been laid thus far, with additional pending. One victim suffered serious injuries during their carjacking, and miraculously, none of our officers were harmed during the arrests. We want to thank officers from 31 Division and the holdup squad for their outstanding work and dedication to this critical issue.

Inspector Mattis will now provide information about several carjacking incidents that occurred across our city over the past week. These incidents led to remarkable arrests by officers from 31 Division on Friday. These incidents are just a snapshot of the larger issue that the Toronto Police Service and our law enforcement partners confront daily in the Greater Toronto Area.

On Saturday, April 6th, 2024, a resident was robbed of his blue BMW X5 in the Elmir and Kennedy Road area in Toronto. Three male suspects, all dressed in black and armed with a firearm, demanded his keys. They took his vehicle, and thankfully, nobody was physically injured. On Thursday, April 11th, 2024, another resident was filling up his Lamborghini Urus at a gas station in the Young and Shepard Avenue area when a gray sedan approached. Four male suspects exited the sedan, assaulted the victim, and took his keys. The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital.

The trauma inflicted on victims of this violence cannot be overstated. Being threatened with a gun can have a long-term impact on one’s sense of safety and well-being, not to mention experiencing physical violence and serious threats. It’s imperative that we continue working closely with our law enforcement partners to address these crimes and bring those responsible to justice.

Superintendent Andy Singh will now provide further details on these arrests. Thank you.

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for being here. I want to take you to this past Friday, April 12th. Officers from 31 Division were in the area of Islington Avenue and Steeles, using their Automatic License Plate Reader technology. They picked up on a stolen Lamborghini passing them. The vehicle was followed to Barac Drive, where the driver entered an establishment. Meanwhile, a BMW X5 arrived and parked nearby, with three individuals also entering the establishment. Using technology, officers confirmed that this BMW was the same one carjacked on April 6th. When the occupants of the BMW exited the establishment, they attempted to enter the stolen vehicle, and officers moved in to make arrests.

To evade police, the driver recklessly reversed up a hill and smashed into police vehicles. The following video demonstrates the exceptional danger faced by officers during the arrest. The suspects were found in possession of more than $188,000 in Canadian currency, three handguns with high-capacity magazines, and ammunition. One of the handguns had an automatic switch, making it an automatic weapon.

I’m proud of the exceptional work done by my officers at 31 Division. The bravery and professionalism they displayed in arresting these individuals in dynamic and difficult circumstances is commendable. These arrests serve as a reminder of our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents above all else.

Thank you. I’ll take any questions.

Superintendent, can you speak to the current situation with auto theft and carjacking compared to last year?

Absolutely. Year-to-date carjackings in 2023, as of April 8th, totaled 23. In 2024, we’ve had 45 so far. Three individuals have been charged in these incidents.

Regarding the carjacking on Thursday, April 11th, it was mentioned that four male suspects exited the sedan. Can you clarify that?

The investigation is ongoing, and any updates will be communicated through our corporate communications. The suspects involved include a 21-year-old, a 19-year-old, and a male youth.

When discussing the firearms, one with an automatic switch, is there a belief that these suspects are part of a larger crime ring?

It’s a combination. Adults often exploit youths due to sentencing differentials, but there are also youths who see this as easy money and act independently.

Did any of the suspects draw their firearms at officers?

No, fortunately, they did not. However, the firearms were readily accessible, posing a significant threat to both officers and the public.

What changes do you believe are necessary to address this escalating problem?

This isn’t just an enforcement issue. We need to work with all our partners, including regulatory agencies, auto manufacturers, the insurance sector, and government, to combat auto theft and carjackings. It requires a collective effort.

Could you explain how investigations proceed after a carjacking occurs?

The initial response focuses on assisting the victim and gathering evidence. We collaborate with various partners, including the holdup squad and regulatory agencies, to investigate thoroughly and bring perpetrators to justice.

The fact that these suspects were out on bail is concerning. Can you comment on that?

It highlights the challenges we face. One of the suspects had been arrested for a previous carjacking in December. This underscores the need for comprehensive efforts to address these issues effectively.

In summary, Toronto Police provided updates on recent carjacking incidents, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to combat this problem effectively.

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