Recent street robberies plague Scarborough

Problem is a city-wide issue and not specific to 42 division

Toronto police are warning of an increase of violence in street robberies.

“Although robberies are down overall in our jurisdiction, the violence in the robberies is increasing with more weapons being used and the violence perpetrated a lot more violent,” said Detective Sergeant Gerry Heaney of 42 Division in a news conference at Toronto Police Services headquarters today.

Firearms and knives have been used in some of these robberies, he said.

Heaney suggested residents be more careful with their belongings and to be aware of their surroundings. He also asked them to contact Crime Stoppers if they know someone who may be involved in the crimes.

“It is incumbent upon citizens … to not carry all of their personal identification, cellphones, as well as valuables in one location,” Heaney said.

Police say some of the crimes were committed near TTC bus stops and victims have sometimes been followed off transit vehicles.

“Many crimes are crimes of opportunities, so we want to make ourselves the most undesirable targets as we can to criminals,” said Mark Cousins, head of TTC’s transit enforcement unit.

Residents can do this by limiting distractions caused by electronics or to do something as simple as walking confidently, Cousins said. He added residents should keep valuables out of sight.