Auto theft and house break and enter continue to be active in our area and across the entire City. During the month of October, we experienced two auto thefts bringing our year-to-date total to 24. This compares to 26 in the same period 2022. Although we are relatively flat over 2022, auto theft across the City continues to be a major problem and is becoming more severe in nature with an increase in car jackings and break and enters to gain access to auto keys/fobs. The chart below shows that the City of Toronto has now reached 9964 auto thefts in 2023, an increase of 30% over the same period 2022. The second chart provides a snapshot of auto theft by month in our area.
There is hope on the horizon.
Toronto Police recently announced an update on “Project Stallion”. This Project was focused on auto theft in 22 and 23 Divisions (west end) in the City. In the period November 2022 to September 2023, the Project resulted in 228 individuals being charged and 1,080 vehicles recovered. This Project has now been suspended and a new Task Force formed working across multiple jurisdictions including the OPP. The catalyst in forming the new team seems to be the increase in personal safety incidents Police are seeing as a result of the auto thefts. Toronto Police held a news conference in late October outlining their progress to date and the formation of the new task force. The LINK will take you to the news conference. We will update on their work as information becomes available.
Break and Enter- House
During the month of October, we experienced two house break and enters. This brings our year-to-date total to 9 versus 7 in the same period 2022. The chart below provides the break and enter history by month since 2019.
House break and enters are becoming more brazen. We have several examples from adjacent neighbourhoods where break and enters are occurring when people are at home. The catalyst for the break and enters appears to be auto keys/fobs. Side panels of glass next to the front door are being broken and the door unlocked. The thieves then search the house for the auto keys. Although SAHRA cannot endorse products due to insurance restrictions, we can share what prevention techniques residents are using. Below are some techniques for consideration.
- Park higher risk autos in a garage or first in a driveway, blocked from the street by a lower risk auto.
- Use of door reinforcement locks. These devices add a physical stop at the non-hinge side of the door making it more difficult to force open.
- Alarm systems used even when home.
- Use of laminated glass or transparent security film on windows, to strengthen side panel glass or entry door glass.
SAHRA will continue to follow these incidents and share with residents.
Buy/Sell Safe Zone
Due to the increase in robberies, 32 Division has designated a “Safe Zone” for Kijiji type purchases. The zone, which is under constant video surveillance, is outside the main doors of 32 Division at 30 Ellerslie Avenue, North York (between Finch and Sheppard, west of Yonge).
Incident Command Centre
Toronto Police continue to support an Incident Command Center at the Bathurst and Lawrence Plaza. Officers will be there for at least a couple of more weeks or longer based on circumstances. They will also be providing a high visibility presence to Jewish and Muslim facilities and centres in the area.
If anyone feels they need to talk with someone, victim services will also be made available. Visit the Incident Command Centre for additional information.