Ontario Premier Doug Ford warned participants of an ongoing tow truck “turf war” that they would be “going to jail” if acts of violence and vandalism continue.
Ford made the comments during an unrelated announcement in Toronto Tuesday morning.
“There’s a small group that’s causing trouble out there, that are lighting tow trucks on fire, smashing facilities’ windows,” Ford said.
“It’s unacceptable and if you continue doing it, we’re coming for you, we’re gonna catch you, and you’re going to jail. Simple as that.”
There have been numerous incidents of tow trucks being set on fire and shot at in the Greater Toronto Area over the past few months.
Last Friday, four trucks were set ablaze in York Region within an hour. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Durham Regional Police released a video appearing to show a tow-truck arson in Ajax on Feb. 29 in the hope that someone would identify the suspect.
Police, however, have not confirmed if those incidents are connected to the “turf war.”
After a series of tow-truck fires in December, Mark Graves, president of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario, told Global News there had been a “significant amount of escalation,” adding that several companies appear to be challenging each other for work.
Ford said he has been working to address the issue over the past few weeks and has had several meetings about it.
He stopped short of saying whether or not some kind of legislation would be introduced to help curb the problem.
“My main goal right now is to stop the violence and it’s totally unacceptable,” he said.