Toronto auto thefts in January already surpass last year’s total

East York seeing major increase in reports

A man makes sure car doors are locked
An East York car owner checks his car door is locked. After the rise in auto thefts, police encourage owners to lock vehicles and make sure no valuables can be seen. (Arin De Castro/Toronto Observer) 

Auto thefts in the East York area continue to rise with nearly 200 reports in January.

The East York figures reflect the increase in crime, especially auto theft, across Toronto over the past few months. This year the auto thefts have increased by 49.6 per cent across Toronto and 52.2 per cent in East York over the same period in the previous year.

Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns calls this a “very disturbing development” caused by a deteriorating standard of living that leads people into crime.

“Unless the larger causes of crime are addressed then it will be very hard to actually bring this under control,” Tabuns said.

The most notable increase in the east end has been in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood, which went from only two reported incidents in total last year, to seven reported in just January this year.

Data collected in January from the Toronto Police Services Public Safety Data Portal.

The majority of auto thefts in the first month of this year have been reported between 7 and 8 a.m.

Tuesday is the day of the week when they occur most often — with 11 reported burglaries so far on that day. Thursday is a surprise with only one reported theft throughout the month. The rest of the week tends to have four to six reports daily.

Toronto police are looking for patterns in the thefts to try to stop them, said Stephanie Sayer, Toronto Police Services media relations manager.

“Each TPS division has a major crime unit, which investigates these reports and establishes if there are any similarities or links to other incidents,” Sayer said via email, “Every division also analyzes crime trends and implements proactive uniform and plain-clothes projects to tackle particular hot spots.”

The increase in auto thefts across Toronto is partly attributed to thieves’ use of new technology. Many of the new vehicles reportedly accessed by thieves through stolen keyless ignition systems.

The method is called a “relay attack,” according to This allows thieves to steal push-to-start vehicles by sending signals to the car allowing them to unlock the car doors.

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Posted: Feb 9 2023 12:33 pm
Filed under: Crime News