Toronto woman speaks out after being carjacked: ‘We are getting victimized here’

Click to play video: 'Toronto woman tells carjackers they’re using toy gun: it was real'
Toronto woman tells carjackers they’re using toy gun: it was real
A Toronto woman refused to give up the key to her husband’s Rolls-Royce at gunpoint Saturday telling carjackers they were using a toy gun. The woman told Global News thieves then removed the bullets to prove it was real. As Sean O’Shea reports, the car was stolen after the woman was thrown from the car and she was left with painful bruises. – Mar 25, 2024

A Toronto woman who was carjacked along with her husband over the weekend is calling for more action to be taken on the issue, saying it is “not being taken serious enough.”

Mandy, who doesn’t want her full name used because the individuals who stole her car now have her vehicle registration and insurance documents, said she was carjacked Saturday night by a group of young people — an incident that was partly captured on video.

“I’m not happy with the way things are going. I’m not happy with the way this country is being run,” Mandy told Global News in an interview on Monday.

“I think we are getting victimized here.”

Returning from a gala, Mandy and her husband were dropping someone off — an elderly woman — in the Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue area.

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“It’s a fairly busy area, so we didn’t think anything of it when there was another car behind us,” she said.

Mandy said as her husband got out of the car — a 2024 Rolls Royce — to open the door for their passenger in the back, four males swarmed him and asked him for the key to the vehicle.

“They were so young, he thought that (it was) just a joke,” she said. He refused to give them the key.

At the same time, a male popped his head in the driver’s side of the vehicle and asked Mandy, who was still inside, for the key, she said.

Mandy also didn’t take it seriously at first, thinking it was a prank.

Another suspect approached her, she said, and demanded the key, but she said she didn’t have it.

The suspects also demanded that Mandy and her husband hand over their watches, but they refused, she said.

One of the suspects also brandished a gun, Mandy said, but she still didn’t think the incident was as serious as it actually was.

“He goes, ‘Give me your ring.’ I said, ‘I’m not giving you my ring. Get out of my car with your phony, fake gun,'” Mandy recalled.

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But the suspect insisted the gun was real and proceeded to show her the bullets, she said.

“At that point I realized, well, maybe this is more serious than I thought,” she said.

Mandy’s husband offered them money, but that wasn’t enough for them, she said.

A suspect got in the driver’s seat and another one got in the back, with the suspect in the back telling the other to begin driving as the car was still on, Mandy recalled.

They allegedly began driving off with Mandy still in the vehicle.

One of the suspects then unbuckled her seat belt, she said, and pushed her out of the car.

“My arm was stuck in the seatbelt, so I was dragged on the street for a little while,” she said.

Her husband was running behind the car trying to catch up, but it was too late. The vehicle took off.

Video footage from the dashcam of a vehicle appears to show the moment Mandy was pushed out of the vehicle.

She now has bruises on her body.

The Toronto Police Service confirmed to Global News it is investigating the incident. A police spokesperson said officers were called to the scene at 12:45 a.m. Sunday.

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“Four or five individuals approached the Rolls Royce and made a demand for the vehicle. One individual was brandishing a firearm,” the spokesperson said.

“The suspects obtained the Rolls Royce and fled the area. One victim suffered non-threatening injuries.”

Click to play video: 'Toronto home invasion victim vows neighbourhood will protect itself'
Toronto home invasion victim vows neighbourhood will protect itself

Mandy said the whole ordeal only lasted a few minutes.

In hindsight, Mandy said she believes she put her life in danger by arguing with the suspects.

“But at the same time, you feel very violated when somebody is coming to take something that belongs to you,” she said.

“You’re putting your own life in danger, but at that moment, honestly, it’s instinct that’s taking over.”

Mandy said the police officers who responded were “nice,” but she doesn’t think enough is being done to tackle the carjacking issue.

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“I just don’t think enough is being done with the city, with the politicians, to take this seriously,” she said.

“You know, we’re paying a lot of taxes in the city … and we’re not getting anything for it.”

One of the things Mandy took issue with was Canada’s bail laws, which critics have repeatedly called out for being too lax.

“You can’t let somebody out two minutes after they’ve been arrested,” she said.

Stiffer bail laws were introduced by the Trudeau government in recent months, but some have said it still hasn’t gone far enough.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he is considering stiffer penalties for auto theft.

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Mandy also said people should not have to conceal their wealth out of fear of being the victim of a crime.

“I think you know what, you work hard, you make money, you should be able to spend it as you please,” she said. But at the same time, Mandy said she told her husband not to buy the same Rolls Royce again.

Mandy said she now doesn’t feel safe, with the suspects still out there and knowing where she lives.

She wants the authorities to do more to tackle the problem.

Last year, amid a surge in carjackings in Ontario, a provincial carjacking task force was launched.

And last week, a second annual auto theft summit was held in Peel Region with police services from the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara Region, the Ontario Provincial Police, and other groups taking part.

A news release from Peel Regional Police about the summit said that in 2023, collective data between Peel, Toronto, York, Durham, Hamilton, Niagara and Ottawa police services, along with the OPP, show that there was a 116-per cent increase in stolen vehicles since 2019.

“Jointly 15,757 stolen vehicles were recovered valued at over half a billion dollars ($545 million),” the release said.

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The aim of the summit was to explore “innovative solutions” and expand on measures aimed at tackling organized auto theft, officials said.

The provincial carjacking task force has laid over 730 criminal charges and recovered more than 150 vehicles to date, the release, which was issued on Wednesday, said.

Provincially-led operations by the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario and the OPP have also resulted in more than 1,400 charges and the recovery of more than 900 vehicles.

The summit “concluded with recommendations calling on strengthened enforcement at impacted ports of entry and targeted legislation and sanctions to curb organized crime,” police said.

The recommendations can be viewed here on the Peel police website.

But, as evident through Mandy’s experience, the problem persists.


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