One of the victims of a “carjacking spree” in Toronto is speaking out, saying he is “traumatized.”
The 61-year-old man, who did not want to be identified, told Global News that he was returning to his home in the Dean Park Road and Sheppard Avenue East area around 5:20 p.m. Wednesday after shopping at Costco.
The man said he had just pulled into his driveway with his 2019 Toyota Rav 4 and was trying to grab his bag and other personal items from his car.
He said the door was open half way and then suddenly a man with a gun in his right hand approached, told him to leave his keys and other belongings inside of the vehicle and demanded he hand over his wallet.
“I left everything in there and just walked away from the car,” the victim said.
“I just tried to walk away to be safe at least…
“I was not expecting this will happen to me. I mean I had been living in this neighbourhood for more than a decade — 10 years — and I haven’t seen any kind of, that kind of activity or something relating with that.”
The man said it was “frightening” and he is “traumatized.” He said he had never been the victim of a crime before.
“It’s impacting me a lot emotionally,” he said, adding that he is having flashbacks to the incident.
“I think everybody has to take this very serious and you have to look (over) your shoulders and around you.”
The man was the victim of one of three carjackings that occurred in less than two hours Wednesday.
In a news release issued Thursday, Toronto police said the incidents occurred between 4:27 p.m. and 6:18 p.m.
In each case, the victim was near their car that was parked in their driveway when several men in a white sedan — described as a four-door Hyundai Elantra — stopped in front of the victim’s driveway, police said.
One suspect then got out of the passenger door and ran towards the victim, produced a handgun, and demanded the victim’s car keys, the statement said.
Police said the suspect then took the vehicle while the others fled in the Elantra.
The incidents occurred in the areas of Sheppard Avenue East and Willowdale Avenue, Sheppard Avenue East and Dean Park Road, as well as Sheppard Avenue East and Markham Road.
Police said one of the stolen vehicles was a 2008 white Lexus IS250 with the Ontario licence plate AMDT 138. The second vehicle was a 2019 black Toyota Rav 4 with the Ontario licence plate CJBN 929, and the last car was a 2019 blue Toyota Corolla with the Ontario licence plate CHTK 924.
One of the suspects was described as a man in his 20s, six-feet-tall, 150 to 160 pounds and was wearing a black hooded sweater, a black mask and was armed with a black handgun, police said.
Another suspect was described as a man in his 20s, five-foot-nine to six-feet-tall, had short black hair, black facial hair, and was wearing a white hooded sweater with the hood up.
Police described a third suspect as a man with a slim build who was wearing all black clothing, a black mask, and was armed with a black handgun.
“All suspects should be considered armed and dangerous; if located do not approach and call 9-1-1 immediately,” police said.
Anyone who has video footage from the areas where these incidents occurred is being asked to contact investigators.
The “carjacking spree” came amid an overall rise in carjackings in Toronto this year.
On Monday, Toronto Maple Leaf forward Mitch Marner also fell victim when he had his black Range Rover stolen.
At a press conference held following the theft of Marner’s vehicle, police said they had investigated at least 60 carjacking incidents in 2022 alone.
Police said that marks a significant increase over 2021, when 59 incidents were reported in the entire calendar year.
— With files from Isaac Callan