Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Car thefts: Around twenty Quebecers arrested s in Ontario

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The number of stolen cars has increased by 116% since 2019 according to data from 8 Ontario police forces.

  • Yannick Jacques (Consult the profile)Yannick Jacques

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The number of car thefts is constantly increasing in the Greater Toronto Area. The number of arrests too. Quebecers have something to do with it: according to a Radio-Canada count of press releases from different police forces, around twenty of them would have been arrested in connection with these car thefts in the region in 2024.

For example, a 21-year-old Montreal man arrested by Peel Regional Police is now accused of armed robbery of a vehicle during a test drive at a dealership in luxury in Brampton on March 7. Weapon in hand, he allegedly forced the seller, in the passenger seat, to get out of the vehicle before fleeing with the car, according to the police press release.

He was then found in Toronto with two stolen vehicles, again according to the police.

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The port of Montreal is identified by various Ontario police forces as a key location for export of stolen goods.

In fact, Peel Region — which includes the cities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon — was called the nation's auto theft capital during a summit on the issue on Wednesday. Regional police chief Nishan Duraiappah confirmed his region has the highest rate of stolen vehicles per person. This represents 7,400 stolen cars last year.

At the same summit, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown called for more inspections at the Port of Montreal, a hub of car theft. In Ontario, 80% of stolen cars are exported, according to police forces present at the summit.

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In addition, several police chiefs expressed concern about the violence used by certain thieves.

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The city of Brampton, in Peel Region, a suburb of Toronto, is one of the places hardest hit by theft of cars.

Even before this year, several Quebecers were arrested in Ontario in connection with car thefts. The Ontario Provincial Police are also carrying out an operation this week in Montreal on vehicle theft.

Some suspects have allegedly broken their promise to appear in court , which could lead to more charges, according to Toronto criminal lawyer Alina Sklar.

It's really directly from the Criminal Code: failure to comply with conditions, failure to comply with an order or failure to respect a promise to appear, specifies the lawyer.

The section of the Criminal Code will depend on how he was initially released, either by a police officer or by the Court, but at the end of the day, it remains a completely separate charge, recalls Mr. Sklar.

Depending on the language spoken by the accused, services in French must be taken into account for the accused, again according to Mr. Sklar.

Even in Ontario, recalls Counsel, defendants can have a trial or bail hearing in French.

It is also possible to have all communications with the police [in French] and to have a French-speaking lawyer

A quote from Alina Sklar, lawyer

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Alina Sklar is a criminal lawyer in Toronto. When it comes to car theft, in my experience it's especially people who are younger. Often, what I see in my file are young people, people who are vulnerable, who are easily influenced, who have no family support, friends or adults in those around them to give them an opportunity to have career choices, according to Mr. Sklar.

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