Crime Prevention

Neighbourhood Watch Program – we need you!

SAHRA has reinstated the old Neighbourhood Watch concept in a “new, improved” format!  We hope to improve community safety and reduce crime by creating multiple small Neighbourhood Watch Online (NWO) areas within SAHRA’s boundaries, each typically 25 – 35 homes, each led by a volunteer Group Captain.  (Several groups are already up and running.)  Once implemented, the residents can easily communicate amongst themselves while watching for unusual activities.  We are looking for Group Captains.  We estimate the time commitment as a few hours to set up the group and then minimally after that to co-ordinate a few communications per month, typically by email.  We provide training and documentation.  Interested in being a Group Captain?  Please contact us at [email protected] and help us make Neighbourhood Watch Online a reality throughout SAHRA’s neighbourhood.

Auto Theft

(SAHRA eBlast November 19, 2022)

Auto Theft continues to be challenging in the SAHRA area. October saw three incidents bringing our year-to-date total to 26.  This is more than double the same period 2021 when we saw 11 thefts.  Toronto Police Service has implemented a centralized team with one of its mandates being auto theft reduction. Although we were pleased to learn that the team had been formed, we are concerned that their mandate covers several crime areas and not just auto theft.  Our experience has been that focused teams are effective but this team will be managing competing priorities. We expect that auto theft will be several notches from the top. Nevertheless, we remain cautiously optimistic we will see some decline in the coming months. We have begun charting City level thefts as a high level metric to monitor the team’s progress. As of November 8th, auto thefts in the City totalled 7,232. Below is a chart specific to auto thefts in the SAHRA area, followed by a map of auto thefts year-to-date in the City.

Two of our Board members sit on the Community Police Liaison Committee for 32 Division. At the October meeting, very little discussion occurred regarding auto theft. We found this very frustrating but it did suggest that at a Division level, they are looking to the centralized team to make progress on auto theft. Time will tell.

Given the increase of auto thefts in our area, our plan is to meet with the Detective-Sergeant leading the centralized team as well as with the investigative arm of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. We will update on these meetings in future eBlasts.

Prevention is our only recourse right now. Visit SAHRA’s Crime Prevention webpageand search for “Don’t leave a vehicle running while unattended” for a list of prevention technique. Vehicles that are most vulnerable seem to have push button ignition start. 

Break and Enter

During the month of October, our area had zero house break and enters. Year to date, we have experienced seven house break and enters. This compares with zero incidents in the same period 2021. Although an increase over 2021, we are still well below the 2019 levels prior to COVID lockdowns. The chart below illustrates our history of house-related break and enters. 2019 saw a high of 13.  We will continue to monitor.

There have been five “Commercial” break and enter incidents year to date on Avenue Road.  

Recently The Toronto Post magazine (November 2022 issue, navigate to page 25), featured an article on crime across various neighbourhoods in the City. SAHRA’s area is a portion of the Bedford Park Nortown City of Toronto Neighbourhood. SAHRA Board members monitor all major crime categories on an annual basis, in addition to a monthly review of auto theft and break and enter. The chart which follows shows all five major crime categories. The good news is that, apart from auto theft, all other categories are improving.

Carjacking at Lawrence Plaza

(SAHRA eBlast October 8, 2022)

At 6pm on Sunday September 25, a carjacking occurred at the Bathurst and Lawrence Plaza. The owner of the car was an elderly woman. Unfortunately, she suffered an injury in an altercation with the thieves, as well as having her car stolen. Although not in the SAHRA catchment area, this is the most serious carjacking incident we know of in close proximity. Many residents frequent this plaza from time to time. It is doubly troubling to have this occur when the plaza is busy. Our understanding is that the incident occurred in the parking lot near the Metro store.

This follows a carjacking at the shopping centre at the southwest corner of York Mills and Bayview on August 21 which we told you about in our last eBlast. We are repeating a list of carjacking prevention techniques provided by police:

  • Keep vehicle doors locked
  • Plan your driving route ahead of time
  • Be aware of your surroundings when approaching your vehicle and when inside it
  • When approaching your vehicle, have the key ready so that you can enter it quickly
  • Use well-travelled roadways
  • Park in lots with attendants
  • Park in well-lit areas

If you become a victim of a carjacking, don’t fight back. Give the thieves what they want. Call police afterward at their non-emergency number, 416-808-2222.

CBC News Auto Theft Article

(SAHRA eBlast October 8, 2022)

SAHRA and UACA were interviewed by CBC News reporter Farrah Merali on the subject of auto thefts which continue their upward trajectory, including a nearly 45 per cent increase in Toronto compared with last year. The investigation is digging into why an increasing number of Torontonians are falling victim to thefts and what community groups, politicians and police are trying to do to stem the rising wave of crimes. An article was published on October 3 and formed the basis for the local lead news story on CBC Radio that day as well as a segment on CBC’s The National. The article can be found here.

Auto thefts in SAHRA’s neighbourhood have almost doubled so far this year, from 12 for all of 2021 to 23 so far in 2022. Please refer to the auto theft prevention techniques found on further down on this page, as well as those listed in this additional CBC News article.

City Council calls for Provincial Task Force on Vehicle Thefts

City Council approved a motion submitted by Councillor Colle at the Dec 15, 2021 meeting calling for greater action to address auto theft which has reached unprecedented and epidemic levels in Toronto and the GTA.  Review the motion and the Council minutes.  SAHRA and UACA submitted supporting Letters for the motion.  We will now be asking out residents to reach out to the Federal and Provincial represents to join Toronto in this effort. 

SAHRA Crime Update – April 2022 – Some Good News!

Auto theft
in the SAHRA area continues to be challenging. There is, however, positive news on the horizon. In December 2021, SAHRA sent a letter to Councillor Mike Colle in support of his motion to have Toronto Police form an Auto Theft Suppression Task Force.  In January 2022, a letter was also sent to Chief James Ramer in support of additional Police budget for this Team.

At the 32 Division Community Police Liaison Committee meeting on April 20th, SAHRA learned that the Task Force would be formed and operational by May 31, 2022. This team will be part of the City-Wide Major Crime Unit and will be focused only on auto theft. SAHRA is in full support of this team, and based on past experience knows that it will bring positive results to our auto theft issue.

The SAHRA area is currently experiencing record breaking auto theft based on data collection since 2013. Year-to-date we have had 10 auto thefts versus 12 total in 2021. We are hopeful that by the summer months we will begin to see this negative trend reversing. Auto theft across the City is up 62% over 2021. It is very disappointing that it has taken this long for TPS to address the issue.

Break and Enter – We have experienced 3 house related break and enters in 2022. Although this is up from 2020 and 2021, it is relatively flat against the pre-covid time frame in 2019.

As we move through 2022, our focus will be on auto theft. We receive daily information on auto theft incidents and will continue to monitor and discuss monthly with 32 Division with a view to reversing the trend.


SAHRA Crime Update – Mar, 2022

Auto Theft:
Auto theft incidents in SAHRA’s area are unfortunately on track to outpace 2021, our worst year since we began tracking data in 2014. In all of 2021 we saw 12 incidents and through January to February 2022 we have experienced five. The chart below illustrates the month-by-month breakdown in 2021 and 2022. Two significant clusters in May and August totalled 50% of the incidents for last year. We continue to promote prevention techniques to residents but in parallel are working with 32 Division to reintroduce the cross-divisional auto theft suppression team which was disbanded in 2020. The 2022 budget for Toronto Police included funds for this team but we expect it will be mid-year before it is in place. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure Toronto Police address this issue.

While SAHRA’s area has a high number of auto thefts, the issue continues to be very challenging across the entire city with 6,000+ incidents in 2021. SAHRA’s area is part of the Bedford Park-Nortown Neighbourhood of Toronto. Bedford Park-Nortown had the fifth highest rate of auto theft in 2021. The table below shows how we rated in the top 10 neighbourhoods in Toronto. The data is for the period January to November 2021.

The chart below illustrates the history of auto theft incidents for SAHRA’s area since 2014.

Break and Enter:
We are happy to report that February saw zero break and enter incidents. As previously reported, we did have one break and enter in January which was the first incident in 15 months.  We are seeing break and enter activity increasing in residential areas around SAHRA’s. With schools open and offices bring employees back in person, fewer homes will be occupied all day. This provides an increased risk of B&E’s. We will continue to monitor and communicate incidents.
Our break and enter history has shown a declining trend even before the pandemic began. The chart below illustrates our break and enter history since 2014.

SAHRA Crime Update – Dec, 2021

We have hit an annual record! However, it is not one we would like to try and beat. Auto theft continues to challenge our area and across the GTA. Below we outline prevention techniques that may help to deter your vehicle from being stolen.

Auto Theft

First – the numbers! In October and November, there was one more auto theft bringing the 2021 count to 12, already a record for a full year. The theft occurred in the vicinity of Avenue Road and Felbrigg: a store patron had her vehicle stolen while at the store. The table below provides a snapshot of the last three years. Auto thefts in the SAHRA area are up 71% in 2021 versus the same period in 2019. UACA, our neighbouring residents’ association, has seen an even larger increase.

Recent reports are that Range Rover and Lexus vehicles are highest on the hit list. We encourage all vehicle owners to consider the following techniques.

Suggested Auto Theft Prevention Techniques:

  1. Park in a garage.
  2. If that is not possible, use a faraday box/pouch to store your key fob whenever you are not operating your vehicle – even when shopping. Small pouches can fit in a pocket or purse.
  3. Add to the faraday protection with the use of a steering wheel lock such as the Club.
  4. Add another layer of protection by installing a device which blocks access to the vehicle’s Onboard Diagnostic Port (which is located under the steering column). Once inside a vehicle, thieves can otherwise access this port to program a new smart key.
  5. Cover your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) so it is not visible from outside. The VIN is located on the front driver’s side corner of the dashboard and viewable through the windshield. Some newer vehicles have a QR code near the VIN – make sure it is covered too.

We continue to work with 32 Division and are hopeful that the work of the Auto Theft Suppression Team, implemented in September 2021, will begin to have a positive impact.

Break and Enter

 We are pleased to report that SAHRA has experienced zero house break and enters in 2021, with the last incident occurring in September 2020.

We would like to share a recent incident on the west side of Avenue Road (UACA’s area) which we are continuing to monitor. There was an attempted break and enter that occurred in the evening while the family was home. This is a significant departure from the norm as generally thieves do not want to encounter people in the home. Our speculation is that the home looked unoccupied since there were no lights on near the front. As a prevention technique, we recommend that some lighting be on at the front of the home during the evening.

In 2021, we have seen a considerable decline in commercial related break and enters on Avenue Road.

Community Police Liaison Committee Update:

Kijiji-Type Purchases – Many residents buy and sell articles on Kijiji-type websites. To make these transactions safer, 32 Division has implemented a Buy and Sell Safe Exchange Zone where people can exchange prearranged purchases. The zone is located in the police station’s vestibule, just inside the double front doors, at 30 Ellerslie Avenue.

Porch Pirates – with the holiday season upon us, we anticipate there may be a resurgence of porch pirate activity. Delivery services have improved their notification process and often we receive a text message or email as soon as a package is delivered. But if you are expecting a package and you won’t be home, ask a trusted neighbour to retrieve the package before a porch pirate has the opportunity.


Are You a Victim of Auto Theft?

On November 13, 2021, Toronto Star Chief Investigative Reporter, Kevin Donovan, wrote an excellent article on auto theft in the GTA. Kevin also did a follow up article on November 20, 2021. THE ARTICLES ARE DEFINITELY WORTH READING!

Kevin Donovan’s car was stolen from his driveway in Toronto. It was tracked to a Halifax port, bound for the Middle East.

As a result of these articles, and the high rate of auto theft in our area, UACA and SAHRA reached out to Kevin to commend him on the articles and his investigative work.

Kevin is looking for information from auto theft victims. If you have experienced an auto theft in 2020 or 2021 and would be willing to share your story with Kevin, please email details aligned to the points below, to  [email protected]

  • Date of theft
  • Type of vehicle and year
  • Do you have video? Would you share it with me?
  • Previous service (what day and where)
  • Did police come to home?
  • Anything else you noticed that would be helpful.
  • At any time, did the dealership or carmaker provide any warning or anti-theft safety tips?

If you have any neighbours who are auto theft victims, please pass this information along to them.


SAHRA Crime Update – Sep 2021

Auto theft continues to be our primary crime concern. Although there were zero auto thefts in September, incidents are sporadic and reached a high of five in the month of May.

In June 2021, we sent a letter to 32 Division Superintendent Bryan Bott requesting that the police reinstate the Auto-Theft Suppression Team to combat the high level of auto thefts. At the Community Police Liaison Committee meeting on September 23, we were very pleased to learn that our request was somewhat successful. A reduced team consisting of a Detective and two Detective-Constables were assigned to work specifically on auto theft in 32 Division. Although this team is not as large as the previously disbanded team which covered many Divisions, we are very hopeful that it will make a positive impact. We continue to encourage residents to practice prevention techniques including parking in the garage, and use of a Faraday pouch/box.

The following chart and table compare thefts year-over-year. Thefts have increased year-to-date from six in 2019 to 11 in 2021. The increase has been even greater in the Upper Avenue Community Association area to the west of Avenue Road. We will continue to work with 32 Division to monitor their progress and also exert as much pressure as we can until we see a reversing trend.

On a positive note, break and enter incidents continue to decline. Year-to-date SAHRA has experienced zero house break and enter.  It should be noted that surrounding areas – Lawrence Park North, Lawrence Park South, and areas north of the 401, are experiencing an increase in break and enter as people return to the office. Although we are hopeful that we can maintain our low rates, we encourage everyone to be vigilant as we return to work and school.

The following chart illustrates the 2019 – 2021 monthly B&E’s; the following table shows the year-to-date breakdown.


Alert re Sexual Assault

As per SAHRA’s policy, since the alert below is related to sexual assault and occurred within 32 Division, we are reporting it to you:

The Toronto Police Service is alerting the public to a sexual assault. On Sunday, October 3, 2021, at approximately 5:15 p.m., officers responded to a call for a sexual assault in the Finch Avenue West and Beecroft Road area. Also, on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at approximately 7:50 p.m., a woman was walking in the Doris Avenue and Hillcrest Avenue area. It is believed the same man is responsible for both of these assaults. Investigators believe there may be other victims. More information may be found on the Toronto Police Service’s website.


SAHRA Crime Update – Jun 2021

June saw a nice reversal to the significant increase in auto theft we had been seeing in 2021. There were zero auto thefts in our area in June after a brutal five in May. Year to date, we have experienced eight auto thefts in our area. Our 2020 and 2021 history is shown on the chart below.

UACA and SAHRA sent a joint letter to the Superintendent of 32 Division requesting an action plan to address the increasing level of auto thefts. We did receive a reply indicating that 32 Division is investigating forming an auto theft team specific to the Division. The previous team was city-wide and included resources from several divisions.

A good technique to help prevent auto thefts is storing vehicle key fobs in a “Faraday” box or pouch. The box / pouch blocks the signal that the fob transmits, which thieves can otherwise use to steal the vehicle. These simple products are available through Amazon or any security store for under $30. A sample box is show below.

Faraday Box sample – approximately 3” x 5”. It can hold several sets of keys.

Although there have been zero house break and enters in 2021, 32 Division has reported that break and enter activity is resurging. We know of two recent house break and enters in the past week on the east side of Avenue Road, south of Brooke.  Break ins often occur through patio doors and windows at the rear of houses. As cottage time increases, and vacation opportunities open up, notifying trusted neighbours of your travel plans is a good prevention technique.


Spike in Auto Thefts!
According to data from the Toronto Police Open Data Portal, four auto thefts have taken place in three recent days, close to the listed intersections:

  • May 17, Haddington and Harley, noon
  • May 17, Esgore and Ridley, 11 pm
  • May 18, Felbrigg and Greer, 7 pm
  • May 19, Esgore and Joicey, 2 am

At a recent meeting with the Community Police Liaison Committee, the police indicated that the following makes are being sought by car thieves: Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Audi and Range Rover.

As has been covered in previous eBlasts, there are several prevention techniques which vehicle owners can take. Some examples are:

  • Don’t leave a vehicle running while unattended
  • Park in a garage – this technique is free!
  • Park in a well lit area
  • Use a quality faraday bag – it protects the signal from the fob. Note that fake (scam) faraday bags exist
  • Use a steering wheel lock or a pedal lock (which is better than a steering wheel lock but more difficult to use)
  • Install a disabler for fuel and / or ignition
  • Install a GPS tracker
  • For security systems, make sure the blinking light shows
  • Limit the use of key fob in parking lots as the signal can be captured
  • Don’t leave insurance or registration slips in a vehicle (identity theft). You can use an app to show proof of insurance, but need a paper copy / photocopy of the registration


SAHRA Crime Update – April 2021

We have several things to update this month:

  • Year-to-date auto theft
  • Year-to-date break and enter
  • 2020 Review of Major Crime indicators – all crime categories
  • Meeting with Insurance Bureau of Canada

Auto Theft
Auto theft continues to be our primary issue. Year-to-date there have been three incidents and these occurred in the vicinity of the following intersections:

March 20:      Esgore and Felbrigg
February 23: Esgore and Brooke
February 5:    Elm and Joicey

The west side of Avenue Road (UACA area), however, is experiencing a very different picture. Auto theft was very high in 2020 and is currently on track to exceed that in 2021.

The chart below compares 2019 to 2021 data YTD.  Stats for SAHRA’s area remains relatively flat year over year. Just on the other side of Avenue Road, however, UACA’s area is only on an upward trajectory – reaching more than 2½ times the auto thefts YTD 2021 versus 2019 (6 versus 16 in 2021).


Break and Enter
House related B&E rates continue to be excellent in our area.  There has been ZERO YTD. The table below summarizes “House” B&E history.

Commercial B&E’s have not fared well during Covid. Retailers on Avenue Road have experienced a significant increase in incidents. This issue is not specific to our area – there has been considerable news coverage of commercial issues on Yonge Street as well. We have extended assistance to commercial retailers in the area by way of introduction to the Crime Prevention Unit at 32 Division.

2020 Review
As you may know, each month we manually pull incident crime data relating to auto theft and break and enter for the SAHRA and UACA area. These two crime categories are the ones over which we can have the most impact. Each March / April, we download an annual dataset detailing all major crime category incidents for our area for several previous years. We analyse the data to ensure that the other crime categories are not increasing beyond a point where we should change focus. 

As you can see from the chart below, based on 2020 data for Houses, auto theft is our number one issue, followed by B&E. The significant decrease in House B&E’s and increase in Commercial B&E’s in 2020 is obvious from the chart.

Meeting with Insurance Bureau of Canada
On April 8, 2021, we met with the Insurance Bureau of Canada for their insights on auto theft. They support similar prevention techniques that we have already listed in previous eBlasts:

  • Don’t leave a vehicle running while unattended
  • Park in a garage – this technique is free!
  • Park in a well lit area
  • Use a quality faraday bag – it protects the signal from the fob. Note that fake (scam) faraday bags exist
  • Use a steering wheel lock or a pedal lock (which is better than a steering wheel lock but more difficult to use)
  • Install a disabler for fuel and / or ignition
  • Install a GPS tracker
  • For security systems, make sure the blinking light shows
  • Limit the use of key fob in parking lots as the signal can be captured
  • Don’t leave insurance or registration slips in a vehicle (identity theft). You can use an app to show proof of insurance, but need a paper copy / photocopy of the registration


Great Safety Month for Break and Enter and Auto Theft!

As we move into the final month of 2020, our major crime activity – break and enter and auto theft – continues to decline. Unfortunately, other crime activity is occurring and although this activity is less severe in nature, it is disturbing. We also provide updates on scams reported in the hope that we can increase awareness for residents.

Break and Enters:
We are pleased to report that SAHRA had zero house break and enters in the month of November. Year-to-date SAHRA has experienced three house break and enters in 2020 versus fifteen in the same period 2019.  We are hoping that the downward trend we are seeing continues to the end of 2020 and beyond.

Unfortunately, the safety update on Commercial break and enters is not as encouraging. Avenue Road, between Lawrence and Highway 401, has experienced a steady increase in commercial break and enters throughout 2020.  In November there were five more bringing the year-to-date total to 17. This compares to nine in the same period 2019. This is an additional burden for businesses on Avenue Road.

As reported in November, the Auto Suppression Team at Toronto Police Service arrested four people connected to auto theft activity. We continue to realize the positive benefits of this Team through a continued downward trend in auto thefts in the area. In November the SAHRA area had zero auto thefts. Year-to-date we have had 11 auto thefts in the SAHRA area. Ten of these occurred in the January to August time frame. We are hopeful that the recent decline in criminal activity continues.

An updated detail listing of all auto theft and break and enter for Bedford Park-Nortown is available in the Detail Listing SAHRA 2020.

Other Activity:

Porch Pirates – our area (as well as all areas of the City) has been plagued with porch pirates throughout the entire year and it is not abating. CTV reported (we did not substantiate with TPS) that one in three on-line delivery packages are being porch pirated.  In our November 29 eBlast, we offered suggestions to help curb this activity. This info can also be found on our website on the Crime Prevention page: search for “porch pirate”.

Taxi Scam – Toronto Police have warned of a taxi scam across the City. A resident in the UACA area reported on social media that he was a victim of this scam. Details of the scam as reported by CTV news is available here.

Unlocked House Door Entry – As mentioned in our December 12 eBlast, although not in our immediate area, Division 53 reported that thieves have entered homes during the night time hours through unlocked doors while residents were in the house.  In some cases, the thieves entered and exited stealing wallets, purses, and clothing with residents not realizing until the following morning. Residents are encouraged to keep their doors locked at all times.

Night Car Entry – This continues to happen in our area.  Residents are strongly encouraged to keep their cars locked. In most cases, if the car is locked the criminal will move on. If residents have video with good visuals of the perpetrator we will forward to the Police.  Please email [email protected].


Porch Pirates are Busy!

Home video clips are showing how quickly porch pirates can steal a package which has been left near a front door. Sometimes, the thieves follow delivery trucks on their rounds and can strike almost as quickly as the delivery is made.  A few protective measures were mentioned in our November 29 eBlast. They can also be found on our website.  Search for “porch pirates”.


Please lock your doors 

CTV News recently reported that someone is breaking into unlocked homes in Toronto while residents are still inside. Police are asking residents in Toronto to lock their doors following several recent nighttime break-and-enters in the city. Some of the incidents occurred in midtown Toronto near 13 Division and 53 Division, which spans from Lawrence Avenue to the north, the Don River to the East, Bloor Street to the south and Caledonia Road to the west. Police say the occupants of the homes were present during the incidents but were unaware at the time and only realized someone had broken in the following morning. No injuries have been reported but purses, wallets and clothing were taken. Residents are asked to remain vigilant and to make sure their doors are locked. Anyone with information relating to the investigation is asked to contact police at 416-808-1300. Anonymous tips can also be made through Crime Stoppers


Protect Yourself during Online Shopping

Please be aware of a Toronto Public Safety alert that has come out:

The holiday season is approaching and this year businesses are expecting an increase in online shopping. The Toronto Police Service would like to remind you to stay vigilant and provide you with the following information and best practices for a more secure online shopping experience this holiday season:

Always install antivirus updates for your devices as soon as updates are available
Change your passwords for online shopping sites and other accounts regularly, using a different password for each system and account where possible, use two-factor authentication for an added layer of login security
Immediately change factory pre-set passwords on home networking equipment, such as Wi-Fi routers and smart devices
For shopping online, credit cards are your most secure option; verify online transactions by checking your credit card and banking statements routinely and activate the alerts offered by your bank to receive email or text notifications for all account transactions
Do not use public Wi-Fi networks for online shopping or banking, even when a password in required 
Phishing (luring using email) and smishing (luring via text message) are fraud schemes, which criminals use to elicit funds, obtain credit card data, personal information, or install malware on computers and electronic devices
Never respond to emails or text messages from unknown sources, and avoid opening attachments or clicking on links from senders you do not recognize
Reputable and established online businesses utilize encryption to protect personal identifiers and payment information transmitted to and from your computer or device, look for the lock icon next to a website address in your browser.  
Always verify website addresses by manually typing them into your web browser, or access websites from internet searches
When shopping from your phone, choose vetted apps from trusted businesses and download apps only from an authorized app store.

Remember, if the offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.


Arrests made in Auto Theft Crime

Some good news as we near the end of 2020! In October we saw a very nice reduction in auto theft across the entire Bedford Park area. The following is a summary of the most recent auto theft activity.

There was one auto theft in October in SAHRA’s catchment area in the vicinity of Belgrave and Wilson. By way of comparison, in August there were four. In looking ahead to November 16th there were no auto thefts across the entire Bedford Park area.

As we mentioned in our last update, Toronto Police Service has formed an “Auto Suppression Team” specifically focused on auto theft.  Work by this team has resulted in two arrests to date.  The impact of these arrests is having a direct result in the reduction of auto theft in our area. The trending is definitely what we wanted to see.

Break and Enter crime activity continues to trend in a positive direction as well. In October, there were zero residential break and enters in SAHRA’s catchment area. Year-to-date there has been three versus thirteen in the same period 2019.

There were two commercial break and enters on Avenue Road. Commercial break and enters are trending upward in 2020. This is a city-wide trend attributable to COVID closures.

Auto Theft and Break and Enter January to October 2020 is an updated detail listing of all incidents year-to-date.

Shootings in Vicinity of Bathurst Street
In the past couple of months, there have been three known shootings in the Bathurst Street area.  Although not immediately in our area, it is of concern given the proximity to the Bedford Park area.  32 Division is reporting an increase of 14% in shootings over 2019.  Two of the incidents were gang related. We will continue to monitor this activity and request updates from 32 Division as we move forward.

Holiday Season Thoughts!
There are indications from social media postings that “Porch Pirate” activity is escalating (thieves stealing packages from your front porch).   We expect that on-line ordering will increase even more with the lockdown being implemented. The following are some suggestions to curb porch pirating as we move into the holiday season.

  1. If ordering from Amazon type companies – use their hubs for delivery. For example – Shoppers at Avenue and Lawrence.
  2. Buddy up with a neighbour or two to notify each other when a parcel delivery is seen. It works well. If the family is not home – perhaps bring it to your home until they return.
  3. Use of Canada Post “Flex Delivery” option. For more details, search for “FlexDelivery” on this page.

Home Criminal Prevention Program
The primary focus of the Neighbourhood Watch program is prevention. In that spirit, please review CPTED Program TPS – the Toronto Police Service program – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The focus of CPTED is to make your home less appealing to criminals. With the amount of time we are all spending at home now, it is a good opportunity to go through the list of questions and see how you do. Great opportunity to add some things to the COVID home project list!

Please direct any questions you may have to [email protected]. If there is additional safety related information you would like to see, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Auto Thefts Up 67%

There is lots to cover so please read on! The data in this update focuses on the period August and September 2020 as well as year to date. This month, we are combining data for the Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) and the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association (SAHRA). Jointly we comprise 90% of the Bedford Park Nortown Neighbourhood in the City of Toronto.

In this article, we will cover:

  1. Break and enter and auto theft-update for August/September and year to date.
  2. What are the police doing to help?
  3. Update on recent incidents – Yonge/Lawrence incident, car-jacking incident, shooting at Bathurst and Wilson area.
  4. Night car entry.

Break and Enter:
All categories of Break and Enter, year to date, are down 35% versus the same period 2019. Residential Break and Enter is down 67% versus same period 2019. A great improvement!

In the August/September period we did see four Residential break and enter- two in houses and two in Apartments on Bathurst Street (see note below). There were also three “Commercial” Break and Enters on Avenue Road for a total of seven in August and September.

Note: It is unknown if the Bathurst Street break and enters fall within the Bedford Park Nortown or Englemont-Lawrence Neighbourhoods as Bathurst is the dividing line between these two areas. We are including these break and enters in this report for transparency

Auto Theft:
Auto theft is a serious problem in our area and is up 67% year to date versus same period 2019. To date we have had 40 car thefts in our combined Resident’s Association areas versus 24 in the same period 2019.  In August and September, we had twelve auto thefts versus three in the same period 2019.

Resident Association Breakdown
The chart below breaks down both crime categories for our two resident associations.

What are the Police doing?
On September 29th, we met with Toronto Police to discuss auto theft and other issues. There is positive news to report on actions Police are taking.

Auto theft in Toronto, City wide, is up 5% from 2019. Divisions 32, 33, 23 however are up 21% with the highest theft count occurring at Yonge/Finch and Yonge/Sheppard.

In mid-September, a Toronto Police Project Team was formed with Officers and Detectives specifically dedicated to auto theft. There are several police divisions participating on this Project Team.   Use of technology by thieves continues to be progressive. Use of relay devices to your key fob continues to be used – a Faraday pouch is a good prevention tool- as well as use of a computer to pick up signals through an electrical connection located under the car’s door handle.  The highest number of car thefts are Lexus, Toyota, and Honda brands.

In addition to monitoring and reporting the data, we will continue to meet with police through 2020 to track their progress.  As residents, we can also do our part by practicing the prevention techniques highlighted in the June update, which we repeat here:

  • Park in the garage, if possible.
  • Strategically park vehicles in the driveway (less valuable vehicle blocking the more valuable).
  • Store your key fob in the middle of your house, in a signal-blocking container.
  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  • Install an anti-theft system in your vehicle (such as a steering wheel locking device).
  • Install a flood light to brighten your driveway.
  • Point any cameras in the direction of your driveway.
  • Avoid leaving valuables in the vehicle.
  • Avoid leaving garage door remotes in your vehicle overnight.

A tracking system in the vehicle will not prevent a theft, however it may greatly assist police in recovering your vehicle and apprehending the thieves.

A complete detail listing of break and enter and auto theft incidents in our area is available 2020-09 Data Detail (2) for review . Reminder, that we only provide data on incidents which are reported to Police.

Specific Incident Updates:

Car-Jacking – A resident shared information about a car-jacking she experienced in June.  She was returning home via Avenue Road and noticed a car following closely. When she turned on to a side street, the following car hit her car. Four men then swarmed her car and stole it along with her purse, phone, and house keys.  This incident occurred in early evening -daylight hours.  There was a rash of these incidents at the time. Since then two people have been arrested and there have not been any additional incidents reported.

Youth Incident -Yonge/Mt Pleasant-Ranleigh – this occurred on September 25th and was reported on the news.  A group of youths was approached by two men-one of which had a firearm. The youths were asked to hand over valuables. An arrest has been made.  No other incidents have been reported.

Restaurant Drive by Shooting – On September 9th, a restaurant in the vicinity of Bathurst/Wilson experienced a drive-by shooting.  This was a targeted shooting by gangs. No arrest has been made.

Night Car Entry Incidents:
Throughout July and August, we have been tracking the social media postings for night car entry, specifically, incidents where cars are opened (unlocked and sometimes locked) and contents rifled through (not theft of auto).

During this period, we tracked 16 incidents and shared this with police. Police are very aware this is occurring.  Arrests have been made but perpetrators are released the next day. They then return and start the routine all over again. The Police are equally frustrated.

We will continue to track these incidents and forward to Toronto Police.  In addition – residents are encouraged to PLEASE LOCK YOUR CAR! If residents experience an incident with good video coverage showing the person responsible, they can email the information to Bedford Park Nortown Neighbourhood Watch online at [email protected] indicating date, and closest intersection/address. We will forward on to police. Responsibility to report to Police remains with the resident.

In the absence of the monthly Community Police Liaison Committee meetings, we will continue to meet with Police as required and report back to our memberships.

Please forward any questions you may have to [email protected].

 A complete listing of year-to-date break and enter and auto theft is available here 2020-09 Data Detail (2)


Best Practices E-Transfer Fraud

(compliments of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board)
Incidents of e-transfer fraud continue to target Canadians over the phone, via text messages, emails, and in person. Our industry is not immune to this and Brokerages are also dealing with this type of fraud.

Be aware of how you can spot e-transfer fraud and protect yourself by:

  • Creating strong security questions and passwords;
  • Contacting the person who sent the request or transfer to establish its authenticity before acting;
  • Avoid clicking on phishing links; and
  • Report fraudulent activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Sending an E-Transfer
Firstly, e-transfer fraud occurs when a third party is able to intercept an email money transfer and correctly guess or obtain the password.  It is also important to note that once the recipient has deposited the funds, the e-transfer transaction cannot be reversed. Therefore, exercise caution and always send an e-transfer to someone you know and trust.

Security Questions & Passwords
Bank providers recommend using an effective security question and answer that isn’t easily guessable, and is known only to the sender and the recipient. Senders should not include the password in the message that accompanies the transfer, or send it by email to the recipient. You may also want to avoid reusing the same security question and answer for multiple recipients.
Receiving an E-Transfer
If you are expecting an e-transfer from someone, you may find it helpful to contact the person who sent the request or transfer to establish its authenticity before acting.

Interac also recommends:
“If you receive an Interac e-transfer text or email you weren’t expecting, confirm with the sender via another channel. If the email or text comes from someone you don’t know, or you suspect it to be fraudulent, don’t respond or click any links. Forward the email right away to “[email protected].”

Phishing Links
It is advised by Interac to avoid clicking on phishing links that lead you to sign into your email or your online banking. If you receive an email or text message from a vendor you weren’t expecting that prompts you to log into your online banking or accept funds through an online money transfer, do not click on the link. In addition, fraudsters go to great lengths to try to legitimize phishing attempts, using company logos, and sometimes using Interac logos.You may also recognize typos or unusual text, which will allow you to flag fraudulent activity. For example, Interac’s report indicates a common error in phishing emails is the “$” sign appearing after the amount, instead of before it.
Looking for More Information?
Visit the dedicated Interac website on how you can protect yourself from e-transfer fraud here. Interac has also developed the following reports with helpful tips:

You can also visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report fraudulent activity here.


Highway 400 Scam

Ontario Provincial Police are warning drivers not to fall for a scam where fraudsters pose as stranded motorists and attempt to prey on the goodwill of others by asking to exchange fake gold jewelry for cash. In a news release issued Wednesday, the force said they’ve received numerous complaints from motorists who’ve stopped to assist drivers that appear to be stranded along the side of 400 series highways.

Scammers will often park on the shoulder of one of these highways, on a ramp or in parking lots, “seeking the goodwill and compassion from the motoring public.”

Once a concerned Good Samaritan stops to offer help, the scammer then fabricates some kind of emergency scenario and claims to have had their wallet stolen. They often say they’re from out of town and in need of funds for gas or vehicle repairs, and they then offer to hand over gold jewelry in exchange for the money they claim to so desperately need.

“These individuals are typically well dressed and well-spoken and are operating rental vehicles,” the release notes. The jewlery these scammers offer in exchange for money, shockingly enough, is not real gold. The OPP says there have been several instances where well-meaning motorists have handed over significant funds, only to later discover that the jewelry is fake.  And some people, according to the OPP, don’t want to admit they fell for the scam and are too embarrassed to even come forward.

To avoid falling prey to one of these scams, the OPP is urging motorists not to stop on the side of the road to engage with these individuals.  “The scammers pose safety concerns by parking their vehicles on the sides of busy highways and ramps,” notes the provincial police force.  “If you do encounter these scammers, offer to contact roadside assistance rather than exchange funds for jewelry, then leave the location.” 


Alert – Three Vehicle Thefts Last Night

Please be advised that we have been told by a Toronto Police officer that three Lexus vehicles were stolen last night (the night of August 24 – 25) one from Elm within SAHRA’s boundaries, one from Felbrigg and one from Esgore. This follows three auto thefts in July. If your vehicle opens and starts with a key fob, it seems to be more susceptible to theft.

We would like to remind you of a number of preventive measures you can take. These were previously outlined in our eBlast from July 5, 2020:

  • Park in the garage, if possible.
  • Strategically park vehicles in the driveway (less valuable vehicle blocking the more valuable).
  • Store your key fob in the middle of your house, in a signal-blocking container [such as a faraday bag].
  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  • Install an anti-theft system in your vehicle (such as a steering wheel locking device).
  • Install a flood light to brighten your driveway.
  • Point any cameras in the direction of your driveway.
  • Avoid leaving valuables in the vehicle.
  • Avoid leaving garage door remotes in your vehicle overnight.

A tracking system in the vehicle will not prevent a theft, however it may greatly assist police in recovering your vehicle and apprehending the thieves.

One of our members has suggested taking the battery out of your key fob each night.

And from our eBlast of July 22, 2020:
Auto theft continues to be prevalent across the City of Toronto as well as other parts of Canada. On July 15th, CTV featured a report showing how thieves gain access to locked cars using a computer relay to your key fob. A link can be found below for the article together with a video showing the crime in action. Toronto Police are suggesting moving your key fob into the interior of your home or storing it in a faraday bag. Faraday bags are available at most security stores or online.


Crime Update for the SAHRA Area (July 2020)

The Bedford Park – Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online program covers both the SAHRA catchment area as well as the Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) catchment area. For the benefit of each of our memberships, we provide data from the Toronto Police Service specific to each Resident Association. A complete listing for the entire area has been posted here August Data Detail .

Highlights for July:
The SAHRA area had a challenging month for auto-theft with three occurring in July.  Year to date (YTD) 2020, we have experienced 6 auto thefts. This is now equal to the same period 2019. There has been a fourth incident occur in the first week of August and is not included in the data. We are planning to meet with Toronto Police to discuss this increase in theft activity.

The auto thefts occurred near the following intersections:

July 2 – Esgore and Haddington
July 21 – Jainey Place and Joicey
July 31 – Belgrave and Ravenhill

The west side of Avenue Road (UACA area) is also experiencing a significant increase in auto-theft over 2019. In July they experienced one auto theft (3 in June) bringing the YTD total to 21. 

There was zero residential break and enter in July for the SAHRA area with our total year to date remaining at 2. In the same period 2019, we had 6 residential break and enters.

Toronto Police Service are reporting one commercial break and enter in July for the entire Bedford Park-Nortown Neighbourhood watch area. This occurred at Avenue Road and Dunblaine.

If you have experienced a break and enter or auto theft in July and it is not reflected in our data, please let us know at [email protected].

With the Covid constraints, our monthly Community Police Liaison Committee meetings continue to be cancelled.  With the City moving to Stage 3, we are hopeful that they will resume in some form in September.

If there is additional information you would like to see on safety reporting – please email us. We will try to accommodate the request.


Crime Update for the SAHRA Area (July 2020)

The Bedford Park – Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online program covers both the SAHRA catchment area as well as the Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) catchment area. For the benefit of each of our memberships, we provide data from the Toronto Police Service specific to each Resident Association. A complete listing for the entire area has been posted here  July Data Detail.

For transparency, we would like to mention that we have made a modification in how we are reporting break and enter crime for homes. In the past we separated out apartments and houses. We have now reclassified this to “residential”. We will continue to show the detail for the two categories. 2019 comparisons have been updated to reflect this change.

Auto theft continues to be prevalent across the City of Toronto as well as other parts of Canada. On July 15th, CTV featured a report showing how thieves gain access to locked cars using a computer relay to your key fob. A link can be found below for the article together with a video showing the crime in action. Toronto Police are suggesting moving your key fob into the interior of your home or storing it in a faraday bag. Faraday bags are available at most security stores or online.

Highlights for June:
The SAHRA area had a GREAT MONTH for auto-theft with a zero count in June.  Year to date (YTD) 2020, we have experienced 3 auto thefts versus 5 in the same period 2019.

There was also zero residential break and enter in June with our total year to date remaining at 2. In the same period 2019, we had 5 residential break and enters.

Toronto Police Service are also reporting zero commercial break and enters in June for the entire Bedford Park-Nortown Neighbourhood watch area. This would include Avenue Road and Bathurst between Wilson and Lawrence.

The west side of Avenue Road (UACA area) is experiencing a significant increase in auto-theft over 2019. In June they experienced 4 auto thefts bringing the YTD total to 20. 

If you have experienced a break and enter or auto theft in June and it is not reflected in our data, please let us know at [email protected].

With the COVID constraints, our monthly Community Police Liaison Committee meetings continue to be cancelled.  We are hopeful that they will resume in some form in September and have asked for interim reports in the meantime.

If there is additional information you would like to see on safety reporting – please email us. We will try to accommodate the request.


Crime Update for the SAHRA Area (June 2020)

The Bedford Park – Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online programme covers both the SAHRA catchment area as well as the Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) catchment area.

For the benefit of each of our memberships, we provide data from the Toronto Police Service specific to each Resident Association. A complete listing for the entire area has been created – it will be updated monthly.   Bedford Park Nortown NWO Crime Detail 2020 YTD June

Break and Enters:
In the SAHRA area, there have been 2 Break and Enters in the January to May 2020 period in single family homes. This compares to 3 in the same period 2019. This continues a very positive downward trend from previous years.  Thanks to everyone who is practicing preventive measures and taking a very focused approach to security. It is paying off.

The two break and enters occurred near:
January 1 – Ridley and Elm
March 9 – Yonge Boulevard and Sandringham (north intersection)

We have seen an increase in Commercial B&E’s during the COVID lockdown period: a total of 6 in the period Jan to May all of which have occurred within the COVID timeframe (all of Bedford Park Nortown Neighbourhood Watch area).

In the period January to May 2020, there have been 3 auto thefts in the SAHRA area. These occurred near the following intersections:
February 24 – Belgrave and Wilson
April 20 – Esgore and Saunders
May 7 – Hedon and Saunders

In 2019, SAHRA had 5 auto thefts during the same period. Thus 2020 has a 40% decrease over 2019!

The west side of Avenue Road (UACA area) is experiencing a significant increase in auto-theft over 2019 – up 45%.

On June 10th, we held a conference call with Sgt. Jon Collin of 32 Division to discuss auto theft and the trending we are seeing. We were advised that this is a City wide/province wide problem and multiple levels of Police are working on it. Sgt. Collin did provide a list of preventive techniques that homeowners can follow. It is worth taking the time to review them. These include:

  1. Park in the garage, if possible.
  2. Strategically park vehicles in the driveway (less valuable vehicle blocking the more valuable).
  3. Store your key fob in the middle of your house, in a signal-blocking container.
  4. Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  5. Install an anti-theft system in your vehicle (such as a steering wheel locking device).
  6. Install a flood light to brighten your driveway.
  7. Point any cameras in the direction of your driveway.
  8. Avoid leaving valuables in the vehicle.
  9. Avoid leaving garage door remotes in your vehicle overnight.

A tracking system in the vehicle will not prevent a theft, however it may greatly assist police in recovering your vehicle and apprehending the thieves.

If you have experienced a break and enter or auto theft in the January to May period and it is not listed above, please let us know at [email protected].

As mentioned, each month will be providing updates on this data.  

If there is additional information you would like to see – please email us. We will try to accommodate the request.

With the COVID constraints, our monthly Community Police Liaison Committee meetings are not being held. We are hopeful that they will resume in some form in September and have asked for interim reports in the meantime.


Keeping Safe from Fraudsters: Update from Minister of Seniors

(compliments of Alzheimer Society of Toronto)
The COVID-19 pandemic has put seniors at increased risk of abuse since so many are living in isolation. Minister Schulte is asking all Canadians to check-in on our parents, grandparents, neighbours and friends. Please see her video here.  With new financial supports being provided to seniors during the pandemic, they may face an increased risk of being targeted by fraudsters.

You may get phone calls, emails, and texts about COVID-19. Be cautious when receiving them and:

  • Remember that if you didn’t initiate contact with a person or a business, you don’t know who you are dealing with.
  • Never click on links or attachments in unsolicited or suspicious emails.
  • Never give out your personal or financial information by email or text.
  • Remember that financial institutions will never ask you to provide personal, login or account information by text or email.
  • When banking online, enter your financial institution’s website address in your browser yourself.
  • Beware of questionable cures for sale if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information, check out the Little Black Book of Scams and the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre. More tips on how to stay protected from Financial Fraud are available here.

Attempted Theft from Vehicle – May 10 Update

Further to the article about an individual checking the doors of a vehicle from the May 4th eBlast, on May 6th the police advised that the male in the video was known to them and that the video was passed on to the Major Crime Unit to let them know he is active in the area.  On May 8th, they advised that “because of the video you sent, the male in the video is now wanted for breaching court imposed conditions.”

This shows why it is an advantage in having a photo or video in cases like this and how it can really help the police.  Neighbourhood Watch Online helped in routing the video to the police.  If you would like to find out more about being a Neighbourhood Watch Online Group Captain, please contact Jim Sadler at [email protected].


Attempted Theft from Vehicle

A resident’s security camera caught an individual checking the doors of a vehicle in their driveway at 1:45 AM on April 29.  The driveway is located on Belgrave, between Wilson and Delhi.  Fortunately, the vehicle was locked and the individual left, presumably to check the vehicles at neighbouring properties.

If you have a theft from your vehicle, please go to the Toronto Police Service Citizen Online Report Entry (CORE) webpage and make a report under “Theft from vehicle under $5000”, or call police at 416-808-2222. If there is evidence of someone entering your vehicle, or if you have video footage of someone attempting to enter a vehicle, please contact SAHRA at [email protected].

This is a good reminder that vehicles should be locked when left unattended outside, and especially overnight.  Leaving your outside lights on might also be a deterrent.

Through the Neighbourhood Watch Online network, the video clip was shared with police and with members of the Neighbourhood Watch Groups north of Wilson Avenue.  We are looking for volunteers to be Neighbourhood Watch Online Group Captains in a number of areas.  If you would like to find out more about being a Group Captain, please contact Jim Sadler at [email protected].


Auto Theft and Bike Awareness

The spring weather is coming on and we are hearing of an increase of vehicle break in incidents, as well as an increase in vehicle theft.

Toronto Police Services (TPS) Community Response Officers remind us:
The thefts have always been there, seems like the car break ins are not being reported like before….the actual theft of vehicles are pretty common

TPS encourages everyone to report any vehicle break in incidents using the following link:

Always make certain that you securely lock your vehicle.  In addition, please remember secure your vehicle fobs in a secure metal container or a Faraday Bag and away from doors and exterior walls, in order to protect them from allowing car theft technology.

Of course, any incidents of car theft need to be reported immediately to 32 Division as well as to your own insurance company. Make certain you have up to date copies all of your personal documents pertaining to your vehicle available in a safe place in your home, in case you are still leaving the originals in your vehicle. It’s not recommended to leave any such documents in your vehicle, although they must be available when you are driving.

In addition to the above vehicle issues, Toronto Police Service also recommends registering your bicycle(s) to help protect against re-sale if stolen (in the City of Toronto).  Here’s the link for bicycle registration:


TPS Alert – Email Extortion Scam

The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of an email phishing scam which tries to extort money out of recipients. It is reported that:

    – an unknown person has sent a mass email to members of the public

    – the email includes the recipient’s email password

   – the email states the sender is in possession of compromising or explicit photos and/or videos of the recipient

   – the email requests $1900 (or other amount) in bitcoin or the photos and video will be released to the recipient’s friends   – the majority of emails are being sent from an Outlook account to a Hotmail email address

The Toronto Police would like to advise that emails of this nature are a phishing scam in a bid to extort money from the receiver.

If, after receiving this email, you believe these photos/videos may exist please contact 416-808-2222 to report the incident.

You can report the incident online with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.  The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on such matters as mass marketing fraud (i.e.: telemarketing), advance fee fraud, Internet fraud(Phishing scams) and identification theft complaints.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2222, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.


Crime Update for Our Area (2019 to end of Feb 2020)

The Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) and the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association (SAHRA) jointly participate in a Safety Committee covering the City of Toronto’s Bedford Park-Nortown (BPN) Neighbourhood. Our two residents’ associations cover 90% of this City neighbourhood. One of the goals of our Committee is to ensure that residents are kept informed on crime metrics for our area.

Since 2019 we have analyzed a great deal of crime data provided by Toronto Police Service (TPS). The data have illustrated that our two main areas of concern are “break and enter” and “auto theft”.

Today we have posted crime data on our website.  This data will be updated monthly. In this file you will find:
Crime Data 2019 to end Feb 2020

1. Break and enter by month in 2019 and 2020 year to date.
2. Auto theft by month for 2019 and 2020 year to date.
3. Raw data showing incidents by major street intersection
4. Historical data on break and enter and auto theft by year (# of incidents)
5. Commentary

If you had a break and enter to your home and it is not listed in our raw data and you did report, it would be appreciated if you could email [email protected] so we can follow up with TPS.

Break and enter in 2019 was down approximately 50% over 2018 and is the lowest it has been over the past 6 years. (December data for 2019 was missed as TPS removed it from their website before we could tabulate – it will be added in April 2020 when the full year’s data for 2019 becomes available again).  For 2020, we continue to be trending VERY POSITIVELY. The data shows 1 break and enter in January and ZERO in February. (Note: There was one incident mentioned on social media that is not evident in the TPS data. We are following up with the person who posted).

For auto theft, although 2019 was down compared to 2018, as we move into 2020, we are trending upward. Historically it goes up and down and continues to be an opportunity. We have had 5 in total for  January and February. If these levels continue, we will exceed 2019.  The “historical data” sheet in the PDF file on our website illustrates our incident history with both categories.

Community Police Liaison Committee
Each of our Committee members is a member of the 32 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC). This committee meets monthly at 32 Division. Most months we will issue an email with notes of these meetings.  They have allowed us to develop a relationship with Management at 32 Division as well as discuss what we are seeing in our area. It has been very positive.

Your Input is Requested:
We have been asked by 32 Division to identify what we feel are the top 3 burning issues for our neighbourhood. WE WOULD LIKE YOUR INPUT.  Examples would include break and enters, theft, traffic safety, robberies etc.

If you would like to input, please email your response to [email protected] by Saturday March 21st. We will compile all the responses and update later in March.

Neighbourhood Watch Online Program:
In June of 2019, we launched our Neighbourhood Watch Online program. To date we have approximately 20 Group Captains covering a street or portion of a street in our area. It is a great program and we encourage people to get involved. NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH WORKS!  We provide training and assistance in getting set up. If you are willing to be a Group Captain for your street/portion of street, or want to learn more about it, please email [email protected].

For those who have signed up for Neighbourhood Watch, we would like to thank you. We believe the program is making a difference. We would like to really encourage others to participate. Safety is a community wide effort.

“Night Activity”:
We realize that our area (and the entire GTA) is experiencing a significant amount of “night activity”. Knowing about this activity is largely due to the amount of technology in use in our area (home cameras). By night activity, we are referring to people engaging in petty theft on your outside property. For the most part, this involves a person trying to open car doors. They are successful when the door is unlocked. We have been working with TPS and in the next month will provide an update.

Please email any questions or concerns to [email protected].


Updates from the Community Public Liaison Committee meeting on Feb 19 2020

Bank Robberies – The city was seeing a string of bank robberies over the past couple of months- 26 at last count.  The perpetrators were heavily armed and would approach in the last hour of operation on a given day. As a result of this, several banks in the City including on Avenue Road, placed security guards at the front entrance.  Recently the Police made several arrests relating to these bank robberies but work still continues.

Speed Enforcement Cameras – Cameras are being placed in 5 areas of 32 Division. The starting locations were focused on school zones in an effort to improve driving habits in these areas. School zones (speeding, illegal parking) continue to be a challenge.

Auto Theft at Yonge/Finch Transit lot – a high number of cars were being stolen from this lot. Undercover Police were positioned at the lot (continues to be ongoing). Arrests have been made relating to these thefts and 9 cars were recovered. The cars were being transferred to Montreal and loaded on containers for shipment overseas. The investigation is still ongoing.

Crime data – Key metrics:
Two of the key metrics we monitor for the Neighbourhood Watch Online program in our area, is break and enter and auto theft. We have placed on the Upper Avenue Community Association website, crime data for these two categories for all of 2019 and 2020 YTD. Each month we will post updated monthly data. This information is also discussed at the monthly CPLC meeting.

  • Break and Enters are down over same period 2019 and 2018 for all of 32 Division. In our area, they are down considerably over 2018. (please see relevant data on website).
  • Auto-theft is on the rise and is up over 2019. Auto theft has become very sophisticated with technology being used to enter vehicles.  Several arrests were made in an auto theft organized crime ring however those arrested are quickly replaced with new people and the activity continues. Cars are being stolen and shipped from Montreal via containers overseas. Lexus continues to be the #1 stolen vehicle make.
  • Zero homicides YTD in 32 Division and zero in 2019. Across all 16 TPS Divisions in the GTA, only 2 had ZERO homicides in 2019 – 32 Division (our area) and 55 Division (the beaches). All other divisions had a minimum of 3 and a high of 9. We will continue to track this metric city wide as we move through 2020.

Additional Safety Update:

Event on Brookdale – February 16th-Recently there was mention on Next Door social media app regarding a break and enter on Sunday February 16th at 3:00  p.m. in the vicinity of Grey and Brookdale. We inquired about this incident at the CPLC meeting.  What occurred was an outside robbery resulting from a social media purchase and sale. The meeting point for the purchase was in the vicinity of Avenue Road and Brookdale. When the purchaser approached the seller, they grabbed the goods and fled. Police were called and searched the area.  No arrests were made.


Neighbourhood Watch Online Message for Residents

On January 25, W5 (CTV) aired an excellent documentary on organized crime and break & enters in the GTA and other large Canadian cities.  It featured a location in the Netherlands that had implemented Neighbourhood Watch to fight B&E’s. The result was a 50% reduction in burglaries. A great testimony of the power of Neighbourhood Watch.  Anyone interested in becoming a Group Captain, please email us at [email protected].

Here’s the link to the show. Note – watch the video for the Neighbourhood Watch reference:


Planning a Trip for a Winter Get-Away or March Break?

If you are going to be away, make arrangements with your neighbours letting them know your From/To dates so that they can keep a special eye on your place.  They might be willing to pick up/store your mail for you or give your car a clean-off, if it snows.

Or you can make arrangements with Canada Post to Hold Mail (2 weeks for $21). Buy Hold Mail from a nearby post office or online at (


Updates from the Community Police Liaison Committee

Two members from SAHRA attend the monthly meetings of the Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) with 32 Division.  The following are updates from the December, 2019 meeting:

  • The community has reported many incidents (often caught on security cameras) of people trying vehicle doors, at night, to see if they are unlocked in order to steal from them.  If nothing is stolen, this cannot be reported online.  Even so, the police would like to know about this behaviour, especially if you can provide a description of the person or have camera footage: if a potential thief is checking your vehicle doors, then she / he will likely steal from a vehicle with open doors down the street.  (A further note from SAHRA:  If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch Online (NWO) group, you can easily contact your group members to see if others have been affected by similar incidents.  SAHRA is looking for volunteers to set up NWO groups in their areas, usually about 15 to 25 homes.)
  • The police also noted that it is a criminal offence for someone to be “close to a house” between 9PM and 6AM even if nothing is taken.  This likely would not cover someone trying to open vehicles doors as mentioned above, however.
  • Street parking in areas without parking signs is normally limited to three hours in the City of Toronto.  However, in North York, street parking is not allowed between the hours of 2AM to 6AM from December 1 to March 31.
  • Generally, crime has been on the rise within the city this year, but crime within 32 Division has decreased slightly, except for auto theft.  While there has been no homicides in 32 Division, shootings are up significantly over last year-to-date.
  • Auto thefts continue to be focussed on Highlander and Lexus vehicles.  There were a series of arrests made recently as reported in the media.  More arrests may be made as the investigation continues.
  • Speed enforcement cameras will be installed soon.  They will be primarily located in School Safety Zones.  The cameras will be relocated every 6 to 12 months.
  • The City’s Vision Zero initiative includes the reduction of speed limits on many streets.  Ensure you notice the maximum speed signs.
  • REPORT, REPORT, REPORT!  The police have been consistent in their message that they deploy their resources in areas with high levels of reporting.  They use mapping tools which help them identify areas where reports are being made.  This helps them make resource-deployment decisions.  It is a data-driven methodology.  As mentioned in previous SAHRA eblasts, many reports can be made online at the Toronto Police Service’s Citizen Online  Report Entry (CORE) website.)  SAHRA is aware of three members who have made online reports in the last few weeks:  Ignoring stop signs along Elm Avenue; pedestrian safety at the intersection of Yonge Boulevard and Wilson; vehicles parked too close to the intersections of Felbrigg and Haddington at Greer.


Crime Prevention Tips  (compliments of Downtown Calgary)

  1. You can prevent crime by keeping your car safe from break‐ins and thefts.
  • Park in well‐lit, traveled areas
  • Keep valuables and gifts out of site in the trunk, and do not to leave them in the vehicle for long periods of time
  • Don’t leave your keys in the car while it is running
  • Use a steering‐wheel lock and/or car alarm to make your vehicle less attractive to thieves
  • Ensure your doors are locked (and windows on child‐lock) once everyone is inside to avoid unwanted visitors from entering your vehicle
  1. You can prevent crime by talking to youth about stranger danger.
  • Teach kids to ask store clerks or mall security if they become separated from you
  • Never leave kids alone in the car
  • If you have a cell phone, ensure your kids have the phone number handy to reach you, and they know where they can go to access a phone (stores, info‐desk, security and payphones)
  • If dropping youth off to shop on their own, establish a meeting place inside the establishment for pick‐up (not in the parking lot or at doorways)
  • For younger ages, use a safety word
  1. You can prevent crime by being a safe driver on the road.
  • Obey all traffic signals
  • Reduce speed and exercise caution when driving in inclement weather
  • Know your route, and have an alternate one planned in the case of unforeseen circumstances
  • Park your vehicle at the side of the road to answer your phone, or tend to other distracting events such as pets/kids, eating, reading a map, texting, etc.
  1. You can prevent crime by keeping your information safe when shopping online.
  • Type the store’s URL directly in your browser rather than browse to online retailers through a search engine where you may encounter malicious links
  • Use a different password for each site you must sign in for and don’t let the browser store passwords for you
  • Always look for the https prefix in the URL and the padlock icon in the browser’s status bar. (If you shop at an online retailer that uses SSL encryption, make sure the address bar turns green as a signal that the page is secure)
  • Use a credit card rather than a debit card online so you can stop payments quickly in the event of a problem
  • Be cautious with e‐mails claiming to be shipping confirmation or package alerts that force you to open a file attachment. Delete any message that claims to provide tracking information but doesn’t include a tracking number.
  1. You can prevent crime, by identifying fraudulent scams to stay away from.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • If making a purchase online or through classified ads, arrange to meet at a neutral, public location and do not go alone – you don’t know who is on the other side of the transaction
  • You have the right to check out any caller by requesting written information, a call back number, references and time to think over the offer
  • Do some research online to get to know the current scams
  • The Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on Mass Marketing Fraud (telemarketing), advanced‐fee fraud letters (Nigerian letters),internet fraud and identity theft complaints from Canadian and American consumers and victims. Report Fraud to The Canadian Anti‐ Fraud Centre toll free at 1‐888‐ 495‐8501 or via e‐mail at [email protected]
  1. You can prevent crime if making donations to canvassers for charities.
  • Ask for legitimate identification – only donate to registered charities
  • Contact the Canada Revenue Agency to see if the charity is registered at http://www.cra‐
  • If you are approached by someone suspicious, call the police
  • Do not feel pressure to donate right away – ask for information on how you can donate at a later time
  1. You can prevent crime when sending gifts.
  • Do not send cash in the mail
  • Communicate with your recipient to ensure they are expecting a parcel
  • When sending a gift or gift card, consider using registered mail or a courier service so parcels can be tracked and insured
  1. You can prevent crime by keeping your home safe from break‐ins.
  • Keep any ladders used for putting lights up away from the home so criminals cannot use them to climb up to your windows
  • Do not display gifts in a window or doorway
  • Properly dispose of gift packaging and boxes. Do not leave these outside for all to see, as this will advertise the contents of your home to thieves. Put inside garbage bags or take directly to recycling depots
  1. You can prevent crime by securing your home before you go away.
  • Make your home look lived in: put lights, radios and TVs on variable timers; have someone stay inside your home for a while each day if possible
  • Have a trusted neighbour/friend/family member check on your home daily, collect your mail, and shovel your walks
  • If you’re leaving a vehicle outside your house, have someone move its position periodically, to make it appear as if it is being used
  • Lock‐up tools, BBQs and ladders and make sure they are out of sight; set and test your timers; lock and check doors and windows; and leave shades and blinds in normal positions.
  • Turn off the telephone ringer so no one knows your home is empty (and don’t leave outgoing phone or e‐mail messages saying you are away)
  • Read your home insurance policy to find out how often your home needs to be checked in order to maintain your coverage
  1. You can prevent crime by reporting suspicious behaviour to police.
  • If you see any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, call police; call 911 for a crime in progress
  • You may submit an anonymous crime tip to Crime Stoppers
  1. You can prevent crime by recognizing domestic violence and taking action.
  • Domestic violence can be seen through various avenues for example in the workplace, neighbours, etc. – it takes a community to address domestic violence and it is important to call for help
  • The holidays can be a stressful time and the affects of difficult times are felt long before they get to a point of crisis – it is important for people seek help before they get to that point
  • Calling police for help does not mean charges will be laid automatically, our goal is public safety and to assist families in getting the help they need
  1. You can prevent crime by getting home from the party safely.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended when at parties or other social events, to avoid the risk of someone altering it
  • Never drink and drive – and convince others do the same
  • If going to a holiday party, pre‐arrange transportation to ensure a safe ride home (taxi cabs, designated drivers, public transportation)
  • When leaving a licensed establishment, ensure you and your friends get home safely; do not walk outside by yourself
  • Always let friends or family know where you plan on going for the evening, and be accountable for notifying them when you are home safely
  • When taking a cab, note the company and number on the vehicle for accountability purposes and to track down in case you leave something behind
  • You are reminded to always be aware of your surroundings – stay in busy, well‐lit areas and avoid dark, deserted places; if you are suspicious of someone, trust your instincts and scream or use a personal emergency alarm to attract attention
  • Stay in groups when travelling to and from a venue, at a function, or taking public transit and taxi cabs.


Toronto Police Service Vulnerable Persons Registry

The Toronto Police Service Vulnerable Persons Registry is a voluntary database that provides important information to first responders about the issues that vulnerable members of the community might be coping with. The information in the database includes details such as specific behaviours officers might encounter, recommended de-escalation strategies and contact information for family members or other individuals who can provide support.  Dispatchers, police officers and other support personnel will then be able to access this information when they are interacting with the person. This leads to a better understanding of the causes for behaviours and provides officers with information about how to best assist the person. If, at any time, you wish to remove the information from the Vulnerable Persons Registry please do so by notifying the Toronto Police Service via the online portal.  Here is the link :


Online Reporting of Illegal Parking

Are you upset about drivers that park in front of a fire hydrant or the driver that parks their car in too small an area such that they block your driveway?   How do you report this type of parking infraction?

You can report many different kinds of incidents or concerns on the Toronto Police’s CORE (Citizen Online Reporting Entry) website.  This includes Parking in front of a hydrant and Blocking a Driveway.

Choose the “Immediate Parking Complaint” area at the bottom of the webpage to enter information.  Be prepared to provide info about the time, place, vehicle’s licence plate number and description of the vehicle.  A photo or video is even better.


Online Reporting of Driving Infraction or Traffic Concern

Are you upset about that driver in the yellow SUV which never stops at the stop sign?  Are you driven to distraction by the drivers who continually speed along your residential block?  There’s an app for that!

Read the article in the Nov 24th eBlast to find out how you can report many different kinds of incidents or concerns on the Toronto Police’s CORE (Citizen Online Reporting Entry) website.  Two of them are Driving Complaints, and Local Neighbourhood Traffic Issues or Concerns.  Keep in mind that the police only deal with enforcement.  If you are interested in road redesign, for instance, then approaching the Councillor’s office is the better avenue to effect change.
SAHRA eBlast – Nov 24 2019


Community Police Liaison Committee – November Update

Shootings in 32 and 33 Divisions (33 is to the east of 32) last month are 50 year-to-date versus 42.  Fortunately, there has been no loss of life.  Project Community Space, which moves officers into high-risk areas for higher visibility, has been extended to the end of November to deal with this.  Extension beyond that depends on funding.

Robberies and B&E’s (Break & Enters) are down this year compared to last year (19% and 3% respectively), but vehicle theft is up (22%).  For the most part entry to homes is by smashing doors and windows.

Despite B&E’s being down from last year, there has been a spike recently in 32 Division.  The police are focusing on high B&E areas with both uniformed and plain clothes officers.  On November 19, there was an arrest of a significant B&E player in both York and Toronto

B&E criminals only want to enter an empty home.  To find empty homes, they look for lack of footprints in the snow.  They also leave twigs in between a door and its jamb: if the twig is still in place a day later, the door hasn’t been opened – and presumably the home is empty.  In a two recent cases, B&E’s took place while people were in the homes.

Learnings: Always ensure that your home looks lived in when you are away.  Clear the snow from your walkways, driveway and vehicles.  Be on the lookout for twigs left between the door and its jamb.  If found, contact police.  If someone knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, always answer so you establish that someone is home.  You don’t need to open the door to answer – you can talk through a closed door.

As reported in an earlier eBlast, six youths were arrested following a swarming robbery attempt on Avenue Road.  The police are looking for links to other robberies in the city.

In a recent study of a small area, over 75% of speeding tickets were issued to residents of the area.  Ensure that you are obeying the rules and laws of the road while driving, both close to home and elsewhere.

A new regulation change will allow the use of photo radar in school zones.

Within our neighbourhoods, we often see or hear of persons attempting to open vehicle doors when parked overnight in driveways.  Even if they don’t steal anything, this should be reported to police.  Attempted theft is an offence.  Often the criminal is a repeat offender: the police have knowledge of them (what they look like, etc.).  Make a phone call to the non-emergency number (416-808-2222) if you can report while the crime is happening.  If reporting later, use the online tool: go to the Toronto Police CORE (Citizen Online Report Entry) website, select “Theft from Vehicle UNDER $5000” even though a theft didn’t take place, and complete the report.  If you have a photo or video, make sure to include it.

With the upcoming holiday season, many people will be ordering gifts online to have them delivered.  This also means that Porch Pirates, who steal packages left near the front door, will become more active as well. Porch Pirates have been active in our neighbourhood within the last year.  In a previous eBlast, SAHRA has mentioned that Canada Post offers FlexDelivery which holds packages so that you can pick them up later.  Or you could ask a nearby neighbour to look out for packages and bring them in until you are home.

Criminals sometimes scan or steal mail left by Canada Post at homes which have outside mailboxes.  They are attempting to gain enough information for identity theft.  This has happened in our neighbourhood, so be aware.  Ensure that your mail is secure after it is delivered.  Perhaps you should consider installing a slot in your door to accept mail and remove the outside mailbox which is not secure.


Safety Alert – Swarming

We received this on behalf of Sergeant Collin at 32 Division:
I just wanted to make you aware of 6 arrests made on Friday night in relation to a robbery on Avenue Road near Brooke Avenue.  All arrested parties were young offenders.  Our Major Crime Unit is looking for any linkages to other crimes in the area.

The official press release can be found at  The text of the press release is copied here for your convenience:

The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of arrests made in relation to a robbery that occurred in the Avenue Road and Brooke Avenue area.

It is alleged that:
– on Friday, November 8, 2019, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the victim was walking in the area of Avenue Road and Brooke Avenue
– the victim was approached from behind by six youths
– the victim was ordered to empty his pockets
– he was thrown to the ground, assaulted and choked
– he was robbed of personal items
– the youths fled on foot and were arrested by police nearby

Six boys, between the ages of 14 and 16, all of Toronto, were arrested and charged with Robbery. They appeared in court at Old City Hall on Saturday November 9, 2019, at 9 a.m., in courtroom 101.

Please refer to Section 110, Subsection 1, of the YCJA:
110. (1) Subject to this section, no person shall publish the name of a young person, or any other information related to a young person, if it would identify the young person as a young person dealt with under this Act.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-3200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.


On Friday night (Nov 8th) around 11:00 p.m., a group of teenagers were at a table in McDonalds. They noticed 4 teenagers walking north on Avenue Road and left the restaurant. Outside they approached the 4 teenagers and began yelling at them – 3 began running north and one was swarmed. He was punched in the face,  beaten up and his backpack was stolen. Three Police cars  arrived in the area and based on a witness account the Police caught one or more of the teenagers in the vicinity of Avenue Rd and Brooke.

These steps from Toronto Police can help keep you and your children safe:

  • DON’T RESIST a robbery.  When asked for phones & wallets, purses etc., give them up.  They are only property – your safety is the priority.
  • Take notice of the descriptions of the suspects, what they are wearing, what they say, possible “accents”, how they approached, where they went after the robbery (direction of travel) along with possible vehicle descriptions.
  • If there are people around when thieves approach, YELL FOR HELP and make noise to attract attention to you.
  • Whenever possible, walk in groups or with at least one other person.


Updates from the Community Police Liaison Committee

Two members from SAHRA attend the monthly meetings of the Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).  Here is some info from the Sept and Oct meetings.

32 Division is dealing with the robberies of teens after they left McDonald’s on Avenue Road.  Councillor Colle has been on the radio/TV advising the public of the event and the police investigation. Apparently two arrests were made last week and the police are continuing with their follow-ups.
From Oct 11-14, Operation Impact targeted distracted driving, use of cell phones by drivers and use of seatbelts.
A back-to-school campaign was completed by the Traffic Group, primarily targeting school drop off in the morning.
Shootings in 32 Division (as of Oct 16) have increased from 22 YTD in 2018 to 42 in 2019.  However, there have been no homicides.  The shootings have tended to be concentrated in certain geographic areas. Project Community Space has been raised which moves officers into these areas for higher visibility. This project will run until the end of October.
It is expected that the provincial government will change a regulation in October which will allow the use of cameras to enforce speeding limits.
Complaints against drivers can be made online at the Citizen Online Report Entry (CORE) website  Choose the “Driving Complaint” area at the bottom of the page to enter information about unlawful driver behaviour.  Be prepared to provide info about the time, place and description of the vehicle – it is best to have the vehicle’s licence plate number.  A photo or video is even better.  Even if the police cannot identify the driver, a letter will be sent to the vehicle owner explaining the complaint.


Break and Enters

Unfortunately The Post reported 3 Break & Enters in August in the SAHRA area.  The Bedford Park – Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online group has followed up with their police liaison regarding these B&E’s.  Recommendations/suggestions from the Toronto Police Service:  cameras or the ring-like device might help capture the culprits; another option is to install a device that stimulates a deep dog bark; do not put pictures on Facebook or Instagram while you are away as it is advertising that you are not at home.


Watch Out For These Scams (compliments of Toronto Hydro)

Toronto Hydro is seeing an increase in scams targeting its customers, especially around long weekends.  Most fraudsters are contacting customers by phone. They’re threatening immediate disconnection and demanding payment, usually in the form of a pre-paid card or Bitcoin.  Toronto Hydro never threatens to disconnect power immediately.  Toronto Hydro also doesn’t have a 1-800 number and we don’t accept payment by wire transfer.  Report suspicious activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 (quote file number 844396).  Also, please report to Toronto Hydro by calling 416-542-8000 or by submitting a report online at  Learn more about how to protect yourself:

We discovered that the links listed above did not work.  The new links are:

Block scammers with these tips:

  • Don’t provide any personal or account information if contacted by phone, email or text.
  • Don’t make any type of payment until you can confirm you’re dealing with Toronto Hydro.
  • Don’t click on any links advertising a refund or a rebate in text messages or emails as this is a tactic fraudsters use to access personal information.


Spoofing using the Toronto Police Service non-emergency number

An alert from the Bedford Park – Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online:
Toronto police are warning the public on Thursday about robocalls spoofing its non-emergency number. Police spokesperson Allyson Douglas-Cook said they have received reports from people that have been getting these calls showing their non-emergency number — 416-808-2222.

The robocalls, which are in Mandarin, have been asking for credit card information, said Douglas-Cook.  She said it led to people calling Toronto police to verify if police have contacted them and requested certain information. “The Toronto police will never call and request any kind information, especially credit card information,” said Douglas-Cook.  These calls are relatively new, said Douglas-Cook, but it is enough of a concern to warn the public about these calls.  She said police will be investigating to determine who is behind these calls.  “It is essentially fraud,” said Douglas-Cook.  She said the non-emergency number would not show up if police contact a person or return a call. “If anyone sees this number and receives any request for information, this is not the Toronto police,” said Douglas-Cook.


Montreal man arrested for auto theft in Toronto

A Globe & Mail article on Aug 1, 2019 reported “a 19-year old Montreal man is facing dozens of charges related to an alleged car-theft ring in Toronto.  Local police allege the man was part of an operation targeting high-end, newer model Lexus and Toyota vehicles, usually taking them early in the morning. They allege the man stole 36 vehicles in just over a month in November and December, 2018.  The man now faces 71 charges.”  The Toronto Police have confirmed that some of the charges stem from the SAHRA area.


Area Break-ins reported in the August Post

Ridley Blvd & Elm Rd                    July 1                     12 am
Belgrave Ave & Delhi Ave             July 5                     5 pm
Yonge Blvd & Apsley Road           July 7                     1 am 

Please be safe, be aware and communicate.


Pizza Delivery Scam

The Toronto Police are making the public aware of an investigation into Pizza Delivery Fraud occurring within the GTA.  It is not specific to our neighbourhood but it’s good to be aware of the scam and how it works.  Since mid-July Toronto Police, as well as neighbouring Police Services in the GTA, have been receiving reports of incidents in which debit cards have been compromised by persons posing as pizza delivery drivers. The police are seeking the public’s assistance identifying three men believed to be involved in this investigation.

It is reported that:

– pizza orders, which were placed for delivery, were intercepted by a group of at least three male suspects

– the suspects would then deliver the intercepted pizza to the intended customers

– the customers would in turn pay using their debit card to the hand held debit device which was presented to them

– during the transaction the card of the unsuspecting customer would be compromised, and the suspects would switch the debit card with a similar looking card

– the suspect would leave the home, attend a nearby automatic banking machine, and conduct fraudulent banking transactions

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).


Porch Parcel Thefts

A resident reported last week the theft of boxes delivered and left on the front porch.  A woman and a little girl were captured on the security recording driving up in a white SUV and removing the boxes.  Unfortunately, this is becoming an easy target for thieves.  Canada Post has recently started a new service called FlexDelivery where they hold the parcel(s) at a post office and send you a message so you know when they’ve arrived and can be picked up.

If you are expecting a delivery and you are going to be home, check your front porch frequently on the expected day of arrival – sometimes the delivery service does not even ring the doorbell to see if you are home/they just leave it.


Updates from the Community Policy Liaison Committee

Warmer weather tends to lead to increased crime at night, so be vigilant!

Break & Enters                  208 YTD in 2019

Robbery                               52 YTD in 2019

Auto theft                           150 YTD in 2019

Distraction thefts have been reported, especially involving Seniors.  Thieves offer fake gold-looking jewelry such as necklaces while removing real gold necklaces from their victims necks.

Lock your front door when moving the back lawn.  The noise of the mower at the rear of the house signals to thieves that there might be no one in the house, and often front doors are left unlocked.

If you observe a suspicious person in your neighbourhood, the police recommend acknowledging the person at a distance to let them know that they are being observed.  For instance, a wave while walking on the opposite side of the street gives a signal that you see them.  If you can safely photograph them and send the photo to the police, this would be helpful.  Do not engage them as this might be unsafe.


Online Reporting to the Toronto Police Service

You can also use the Online Reporting system to report local traffic issues such as speeding, running stop signs and parking complaints.

How To Report A Crime


Motion Sensors 

You may want to consider adding Motion Sensor Security Lights at the side and back of your home – the police are reporting that many of the breakins are occurring at the back of the house, as it can allow the criminal to work in the safety of darkness.  Motion sensor security lights are available that can be put on your outside electrical system.  As well, solar units are now available that can be installed independently – look for Multifunctional Solar LED Flood Lights.



Wednesday, May 1, 2019  7:30 – 9:00 pm
Final Community Safety Night eBlast Poster

On May 1, 2019, the Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) and the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association (SAHRA) co-hosted a “Community Safety Night”.  This was in response to membership feedback concerning safety in our communities.

Review the Overview document for an outline of the documents available of information presented detailing crime in our community along with crime prevention techniques.

Overview of Website Information
Community Safety Night Power Point Presentation              (PDF version with notes)
How To Report A Crime
Crime Data Disclaimer
TPS Break and Enter Crime Data Extract 2014-2018
TPS Auto Theft Crime Data Extract 2014-2018
Subarea stats Colour Rev 3 – April 23 Word

The Neighbourhood Watch program is a proven solution to reducing crime levels in our communities.  We will be moving forward with this program.  A Neighbourhood Watch information session will be held on Thursday, June 13th from 7:00-9:00 pm.  More information will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

If you want to participate in a Neighbourhood Watch program, please send an email expressing your interest to [email protected].  


Crime Prevention discussion at 2019 AGM

Police officers from the Community Response Team spoke to us at our Annual General Meeting on Apr 3, 2019 on crime issues in our community; SAHRA reported on their involvement with the Community Police Liaison Committee; we discussed how to report crimes or suspicious behaviour; and we talked about prevention techniques.


Spot and Stop Scams (published by Toronto Hydro)

Beware of bitcoin requests, phishing and other customer scams.  Toronto Hydro is seeing a significant in rease in reports of fraud.  Criminals posing as Toronto Hydro employees have developed aggressive phone, email, text and door-to-doors scams designed to trick customers out of money and/or personal information.  Often they mask their phone number so that it appears to be Toronto Hydro calling.

Here are some common red flags:

  • Toronto Hydro never threatens to disconnect power immediately.
  • Toronto Hydro does not accept Bitcoin, any cryptocurrency or pre-paid credits cards as a form of payment.

If you suspect you’re being targeted:

  • Hang up on any suspicious calls.
  • Don’t click on any links asking you to accept electronic transfers.
  • Ignore requests for personal information.
  • Never make payments related to “Smart Meter Deposits” (it’s not a real charge).

Please report any suspicious activity to:
Customer Care Team at 416-542-8000 (Mon to Fri 8 am – 8 pm)
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 (quote file number 844396)


Remember to Lock your Car Doors

Another incident – a member within SAHRA’s boundaries reported on the morning of March 4th that their car had been entered and the glove compartment was found open.  The resident noticed fresh foot tracks up the driveway in the snow that fell the previous evening.  Snow had been brushed off the car’s handle and window on the driver’s side.  Please try to remember, even when rushed or unloading, to make sure that your car is locked.


Protecting your Key Fobs

Some links from recognized information sources:

Sounds like there are some good non-technical deterrents – steering wheel club, boot lock, parking in the garage.

Search Amazon for “Faraday bag for keyfobs” for a variety of products with various features in different price ranges.


Neighbourhood Scam

A SAHRA member wrote to us about a scam they encountered in our Neighbourhood.  It involved a supposedly empty car blocking in their legally parked car. When the owner tried to move their car, three men appeared, accusing the owner of damaging their car and demanding payment. It is recommended that you call the Police if this should happen to you.



(An update from a recent Community Police Liaison Committee meeting)
The same password should never be used on every online account for security reasons.  If one of the accounts is compromised, they’re potentially all in danger.  Perhaps you should consider using ‘password manager’ software.

You can check to see if any of your passwords have been compromised on


Police Update (Jan 2019)

  • Toronto Police report that there have been several incidents where twigs were placed between the door jambs and the doors of residential homes, for both house doors and garage doors. This method is used to determine if the residents of a home are away – if the twig remains caught in the door, no one has opened it and thus it is an indication that the door has not been opened and no one is home. If you find a twig or some other item caught in an external door at your home, you should let the police service know.
  • In order to reduce the number of deaths caused by drunk driving, there have been changes made to the criminal code to allow police to demand a breath sample at the roadside of any driver lawfully pulled over. Toronto Police are using this new tool. They are also implementing the R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) programme at different hours during the day rather than just focusing the stops at nighttime.


Auto Thefts On the Rise

An interesting article on the rise in auto thefts in the Toronto area along with a security expert’s opinions on why and what we have to do to prevent the theft.


Crime Update (October  2018)

SAHRA Directors have applied and been accepted to join the Community Police Liaison meeting.


Toronto Police Information

The Toronto Police website contains information and pamphlets on various Crime Prevention topics.  Links are provided to the following pages – you can obtain information on subjects such as Break & Enter Prevention, Apartment Security, Personal Safety, Frauds & Scams, etc.




Extracted from a Harvey Kalles Newsletter May, 2015/published in a July 9, 2018 eBlast

“Did you know that the most common threat to your home while you are away on summer holidays is burglary? Typically burglary is a non-confrontational crime but being victimized can leave a family feeling vulnerable and violated.

What follows is a top 5 list of suggestions from Protectron to minimize your risk by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.

  1. The first step, is to “harden the target” or make your home more difficult to enter. Most burglars enter via the front, back, or garage doors.  Burglars know to look inside your car for keys and other valuables so keep it locked, even inside your garage.  Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors to resist twisting, prying and lock-picking attempts.
  2. When vacationing, leave a car in your driveway or arrange for a neighbour to keep a car there and move it around from time to time.
  3. Have someone mow your lawn, rake leaves and pick up your mail while you’re away.
  4. Home security systems play a crucial role in a home security plan and are very effective, if used properly, especially when monitored 24-7 by ULC-listed monitoring centres. Home security systems need to be properly installed and maintained to be most effective.  Your home security system should include a loud inside alarm, detectors on all exterior doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and main living areas.
  5. For ultimate control and peace of mind while you’re away, you should look into the fully interactive wireless security systems where you can arm and disarm your alarm, lock or unlock your front door, control lights and your home’s thermostat at the touch of your smartphone. You could even have video monitoring and receive alerts to view the comings and goings of cleaning staff or house sitters.”



Councillor Jaye Robinson’s Ward 25 Crime and Safety Meeting

More than 300 residents gathered at the Lawrence Park Community Church in February, 2018 to voice their concerns to the TPS officials in attendance, including Chief Mark Saunders, Superintendent Rob Johnson, of the 32 and 33 Division, and senior officials from the 53 Division.

Chief Saunders highlighted the new strategy to modernize policing in the City of Toronto. For example, TPS division boundaries are currently being reconfigured to align with neighbourhoods and streamline resources.  In Ward 25, the divisions bordering Bayview Avenue will be consolidated to better serve the community.

The overarching concern expression by the neighbours during the concluding question period was the high number of break-and-enters in Ward 25. In response, TPS officials suggested several preventative tips and strategies, including:

  • Make your home look “lived in” while you are away for an extended period of time by:
    • Arranging for a neighbour to park in your empty driveway
    • Using timers to maintain normal lighting patterns
    • Temporarily halting mail delivery
    • Asking a neighbour to put a garbage bin in front of your house on collection day
  • Contact your respective divisional Crime Prevention Officers for assistance in developing a customized home security strategy.

Above all, the TPS representatives emphasized the importance of community cooperation and reiterated their commitment to proactive policing in our neighbourhoods.  You should report any suspicious activity you observe, as the police use reporting data to direct resources.


Focus on Security
(an insert in the Winter 2013 SAHRA Newsletter)

Newsletter Winter 2013 Security Insert

We live in a safe and friendly neighbourhood, and it is very easy to become complacent about home security. But, even in the SAHRA neighbourhood, break-ins do happen.

With the holiday season ending and our return to a steady routine (which thieves love), here are some brief thoughts and suggestions on home protection to consider.

75 percent or more of break-ins happen during the day. Thieves don’t want to be confronted – they are looking for a quick in and out. They may be monitoring the activity on a street to see when people leave and return. Nannies or parents may not lock every window or door in the house for the short time it takes to drop off or pick up kids from school. Even 10 minutes gives a thief enough time to execute a costly break-in!

Burglars will stake out a house for days, studying the owner’s patterns. They can be middle aged or older, male or female and dressed to fit into the neighbourhood. Their accomplice may be in car nearby. They may pretend they are reading meters, meanwhile they are surveying the street. Most construction crews are hardworking and honest, but there may be the temporary construction employee working for a builder and noting the habits of the neighbours for a future break-in. Some thieves drive up and down streets looking for large discarded TV or computer boxes in the trash….advising them of new electronics in the house. Use box cutters and place them in your blue box out of site.

Lock you doors, even when you are at home! While you are raking in your back yard – lock your front door and garage door. The suspect can quickly grab your purse, wallet or car keys if you leave them by the front door. If they have entered your house and you see them, they may fake an illness or say they are lost and are in the wrong house. Note their description, and as soon as they leave, call 911. Watch for where they go and look for their getaway car.

Burglars look to see if you’re home and look for a point of entry. Remove any potential hiding places.   Big bushes in front of a window give the robber opportunity to hide and perhaps the opportunity to wrap a rock around his jacket and quietly break the window gaining access.

Is your home secure?

  1. To avoid windows with alarm contacts, a robber can get into a basement by
    removing the windowpane. Make sure basement windows are inside the frame,
    not just a windowpane secured by a simple trim.
  2. Install sensor lights high enough that a burglar can’t easily unscrew the bulbs.
  3. Use deadbolts on all your doors. It does mean you need a key for the inside and the outside to unlock your door, but it deters a break in.
  4. Condo owners need to lock their doors and windows too. A burglar can climb to an unlocked balcony door and let themselves in.
  5. Keep burglar alarm stickers fresh. Faded stickers signal a non-functioning or non-existent alarm system.
  6. Old storm doors will break under the force of a strong shoulder, so make sure your doors are solid.
  7. Sliding doors are especially easy to break into so install a metal riser along the bottom or put a latch to lock track, so they can’t be lifted out. For bigger windows and sliding doors, use decorative bars to avoid break-ins. A skilled burglar can use a pin or a credit card to open up most cheap locks.
  8. Motion detectors need to be carefully positioned to be effective and most aren’t. Most of them don’t scan the foot and a half closest to the floor, so a robber can crawl on his stomach and pass by undetected. Make sure your detectors are aimed at the floor and position one at the foot of the stairs, which will keep the burglar to just one floor. Motion detectors cannot detect movement behind hiding places such as bushes and trees.
  9. Include garages in your home security. They contain lawnmowers, tires rims, bikes, motorcycles, cars. Passage doors and overhead doors should have the same level of protection as the entrance doors to your house. Once inside the garage, the criminal is out of sight.    

Other Considerations

  • Just like when using your pin number at a store, cover your entry code when opening the garage door or house.
  • Do not give free roam to contractors and their assistants.
  • Remember that shed and detached garages may have valuable tools that need to be locked.
  • Do not keep valuables in your vehicles. This includes smartphones, GPS, etc.
    If you need to keep them in your car, even momentarily, lock them into the trunk to prevent opportunistic thefts. You should not leave registration and other valuable documents in the car, including identity documents that give name and home address information. You should not store the extra set of house keys in the car. Thieves will look for parking cash in various storage compartments including the ashtray. Remember, once they get into your car, they have access as well to everything in your trunk. Car dealerships recommend that you NOT lock your glove compartment….the
    thieves will break into it even if you haven’t left anything valuable there. Don’t leave the car running on those cold, snowy days.
  • Do not announce on FACEBOOK that your entire family is going on vacation. Somewhere you may have a photo of your house, your address, all kinds of details that thieves look for.
  • If you are a collector, avoid proudly exhibiting the display near the window.
  • Thieves look for wedding announcements and have been known to steal all the gifts during the date and time the family announced they are celebrating elsewhere.
  • The first place robbers go is to the hallway or kitchen looking for wallets, keys, etc. and then to the master bedroom for money, jewellry and other valuables. Place your valuables in a safety deposit box.
  • Be aware of your neighbourhood. Who is coming and who’s going.
  • When you go on vacation, inform a neighbour of your departure and return dates. Place a hold on your newspapers. Where possible, cancel all deliveries. Arrange to have the lawn cut and walkways cleared. Use timers to activate lights at various intervals. Have a neighbour pick up mail.

For all the technology we use to keep us safe, sometimes the best deterrent is a watchful community. That’s why it’s important for SAHRA families to know your neighbours!

Thanks to SAHRA Member Debora Bergeron for preparing this article



The Toronto Police streetproofing program encourages you to teach your child:
1. His/her name, address, phone number
2. To Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency
3. To communicate with you when they feel unsafe or afraid
4. To keep you informed as to his/her whereabouts at all times
5. Never to admit to being alone in the home when answering the telephone
6. Never to invite strangers into the house or answer the door when alone
7. Never to approach or enter a stranger’s car or hitchhike
8. Never to travel or play alone- always be with friends
9. To trust their feelings and say “NO” to an adult if that adult wants them to do something that is wrong
10. Not to accept gifts from strangers
11. To tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you
12. That no one has the right to touch any part of his/ her body that a bathing suit would cover
13. That if he/ she is being followed, or approached too closely, to run home or go to the nearest public place and yell for help
14. To report to your school authorities or a police officer, anyone who act suspiciously towards him/ her
15. Never to play in deserted buildings or isolated areas
16. Never to enter anyone’s home without your permission
17. To avoid taking shortcuts through parks and fields
18. Never to show his/her money and if attacked to give it up rather than risk injury
19. That a police officer is a friend who can always be relied upon when he/ she is lost or needs assistance