Toronto Police have confirmed that there has been an increase in carjackings in the city, already outpacing carjackings in 2021.
On Tuesday, Inspector Rich Harris of the Hold Up Squad told reporters that in 2022, the unit has seen 60 carjackings compared to 59 for the entirety of 2021.
The Hold Up Squad investigates carjackings when a weapon has been used or if the modus operandi matches that of an ongoing investigation. Harris said that there have been 20 carjacking-related arrests made so far this year.
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“Suspects usually target high-value vehicles and these are nearly always sold for profit,” he said at a media scrum.
While he would not confirm the identity of a carjacking victim from Monday night, Toronto Maple Leafs confirmed that the victim was right-winger Mitch Marner. Harris said a woman passenger was also involved and that both complied with carjackers and were not physically harmed.
Harris said that in response to the carjackings, police officers are patrolling hotspot areas where carjackings have taken place.
He added that it is a sophisticated network of people involved in carjackings, with cars having ended up in the United Arab Emirates. Last week, Toronto Police announced the arrest of four people involved in carjackings as part of Project Tyga.
Harris advised Torontonians to park in well-lit areas and to keep valuables out of sight. He said that victims shouldn’t try to resist, argue or fight back against carjackers. He said that anyone who may fall victim to a carjacking to run away and call the police immediately.