NEWS

Vehicle thefts on the rise in north Toronto

11/13/2014 05:36 EST | Updated 01/13/2015 05:59 EST
Residents of a north Toronto neighbourhood want police to do more against what they say is a rising tide of vehicle thefts near Bathurst Street and Wilson Avenue. 

Area resident Michael Anthony lost his brand-new Toyota Venza when it disappeared from his driveway last month. 

He's among dozens of residents who formed the Bathurst Manor Action Group on Facebook and an online map of criminal activity in the neighbourhood, which lies between Steeles and Sheppard avenues, to the east of Dufferin Street. 

Every time someone reports a stolen car or break-in, it's added to the map. The group is calling on police to step up patrols in the area. 

Two months ago Toronto police busted an organized crime ring, recovering 23 stolen cars and and nearly 9,000 stolen items including designer bags, electronics and jewelry. Those items will go on display next week, to be claimed by the rightful owners. 

Car theft is up across the city, especially near Bathurst and Wilson. Police say criminals use tow trucks to steal from commuter lots and can jam the signal from a car alarm remote — so that the beep doesn't necessarily mean the car is locked and safe.

Police say doors should be locked manually. 

Many of the stolen cars have been Hondas or Toyotas, which police say are easy to sell for parts or ship overseas.

Anthony's car eventually turned up in Halifax. 

"It was badly damaged. It was in a vessel, a shipping container, ready to go to East Africa," he said. 

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