Mayor John Tory is pleading with his federal and provincial counterparts for assistance as the city grapples with a “plague” of violent carjackings.
The most recent carjacking spree occurred on Wednesday night, when three victims’ automobiles were stolen at gunpoint in less than two hours.
Mitch Marner, a Toronto Maple Leafs forward, had his Range Rover stolen at gunpoint outside an Etobicoke movie theater earlier this week. In the incident, he was unharmed.
On Friday, Tory sent letters to Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy as well as federal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino and federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra seeking their help in addressing the issue.
In the letters, Tory said that there have been 93 carjacking incidents that have occurred in the city so far this year compared to just 21 at this time point in 2021.
Many of those incidents, he said, have “alarmingly” involved the use of weapons and or violence.
“This situation and the trend line cannot continue and I am writing to ask for your help,” he said. “I am confident that by working together in partnership, all three levels of government – together with the Toronto Police Service and other local police services in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area – can reverse the tide of increasing auto thefts.”
Tory had several specific asks in his letters.
He reiterated a request city council made of the provincial government in December to create an auto theft task force in partnership with municipalities and said that he would like the RCMP to partner with and provide support to that task force as required.
He also said that the Ontario government could provide additional resources to the Toronto Police Service to help deal with the “epidemic” of auto thefts.
Furthermore, he said that all three levels of government should partner together to explore “upstream solutions,” such as steps that can be taken on the assembly line.
“I look forward to the work we can do together on this important issue. We simply must act to obtain better results and I think that can best be done together,” he said. “The status quo is simply not acceptable for any of us.”
Source_ The Canadian Press