Update on Carjacking Investigations
Hold Up investigators updated the media on a series of arrests and people wanted in connection with an increased level of carjackings across the city.
“As you know, in Toronto, we continue to experience a concerning increase in carjackings. These robberies are not only happening in our city, but across the Greater Toronto Area,” Hold Up Inspector Richard Harris said. “We want to assure the public that every investigative avenue is being taken in our efforts to identify and arrest the perpetrators of these crimes and to put them before the courts.”
There have been 50 arrests made in a total 182 occurrences this year. In 2021, there were 102 carjackings.
The Hold Up Squad investigates incidents of carjackings where a weapon is involved or if it is suspected a person is involved in a series of incidents, a total of 136 so far this year.
Harris said that uniformed and plainclothes officers are patrolling hotspot areas citywide and continue to make arrests and there is a dedicated group of investigators working solely on carjacking investigations.
To date, 56 vehicles stolen in these carjackings have been recovered.
There have been several recent arrests related to a series of carjackings that took place in August and September of this year.
Valerie Torres-Lizcano, 18, of York Region, was arrested and charged in relation to a series of carjackings where it was reported that a woman and two men were alleged to stolen vehicles at gunpoint and knifepoint in Toronto and York Region.
An arrest has also been made pertaining to a separate carjacking that took place June 19, at Albion Rd. and Islington Ave. where a woman was approached walking up to her car, which was stolen at gunpoint.
On September 30, Hamzah Hussein, 18, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with nine robbery related offences.
Several supsects are wanted by police for different investigations.
For the series of carjackings that took place in August and September, for which three people have already been arrested, police have a warrant for the arrest of 18-year old Jasmine Oung, of York Region.
She is facing one count of robbery with an offensive weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Toronto investigators are also looking for Sameer Ejaz, 20, of Toronto, who is wanted for a carjacking that took place on June 26, 2022.
In that incident, it is alleged that while armed with a firearm, he robbed the victim of his motorcycle.
He is facing 11 charges, including:
- Robbery with a firearm
- Disguise with intent, and
- Carrying a concealed weapon
He is currently wanted on a warrant and remains at large after allegedly removing the ankle monitoring bracelet he was wearing as a condition of his release.
“We understand these types of crimes can have a lasting impact on victims, whether they are physically injured or not, and we will continue to identify suspects, charge them, and return vehicles to their owners,” Harris said.
He reminded motorists:
- Be aware of your surroundings, try to park in lit areas and keep valuables out of sight.
- Keep doors locked at all times and if you feel threatened, sound your car alarm or call 9-1-1.
- If someone attempts to steal your vehicle, please give the vehicle up. Do not argue or fight. Your safety is worth more than a car. Run to a safe space and call police immediately.