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Toronto police lay 54 charges after dramatic arrests in carjacking probe

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Toronto police say they have laid 54 charges against three suspects following a carjacking investigation which culminated in a dramatic arrest where several police vehicles were smashed as the suspects allegedly attempted to flee.

More than $18,000 in Canadian cash was seized in the investigation, along with several handguns, police said.

At a news conference at Toronto Police Headquarters Tuesday, Acting Supt. Susan Gomes praised the officers involved in the investigation and said "miraculously none of our officers were harmed during the arrests."

The investigation began on April 6 in the area of Ellesmere and Kennedy roads. At around 2 p.m. officers were called to a carjacking.

According to police, the victim was exiting a blue BMW X5 in a parking lot when a white SUV parked behind them. Three male suspects dressed in all black clothing and masks got out of the SUV and approached the BMW. The suspects demanded the keys as one of them pointed a firearm at the victim.

The thieves got the keys and drove off with both vehicles.

Then a few days later on April 11, police responded to a carjacking at a gas station in the Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue area at around 8 p.m.

According to police, four male suspects got out of a gray sedan and approached the owner of a white 2021 Lamborghini Urus.

Police said the suspect repeatedly assaulted the victim and eventually took the keys and fled in the Lamborghini. The assault sent the victim to hospital with serious injuries, but he survived.

A day later on April 12, officers on Islington Avenue drove by the white Lamborghini shortly before 10:30 p.m. Their Automatic Licence Plate Reader (ALPR) alerted them to the fact the vehicle was stolen and they followed it to a parking lot at Barmac Drive, near Weston Road and Steeles Avenue, where the driver got out and went into an establishment.

While watching the Lamborghini, officers saw the stolen BMW X5 from the April 6 carjacking arrive at the same parking lot.

When the BMW tried to leave the area, officers moved in to arrest the suspects.

A variety of contraband seized by Toronto police as part of a carjacking investigation is shown. (Toronto Police Service)

However the suspects did not surrender willingly.

Dramatic video released by police shows the BMW reversing up a hill at a high rate of speed and smashing into several police vehicles while trying to escape. Police said the vehicle narrowly missed officers.

“What you're going to see is the exceptional danger that the officers faced when they tried to make an arrest,” Supt. Andy Singh told reporters as he played the video at the news conference Tuesday.

He called the behaviour in the video “nothing short of absolute disregard for any lives, specifically the men and women who were there to execute the arrest.”

He said the three suspects attempted to flee, even after they were boxed in by police vehicles. However, all of them were eventually arrested.

The BMW — valued at approximately $175,000 — and the Lamborghini — valued at approximately $400,000 — were both recovered.

A stolen vehicle recovered by Toronto police as part of a carjacking investigation is shown. (Toronto Police Service)

Images released by police showed the cash and guns that were seized, along with stolen keys and ammunition.

It's not yet clear exactly where the guns came from, but Insp. Joseph Matys of the Hold Up Squad said they raise concerning questions.

“Certainly I do find it concerning that these firearms are new firearms, they've been modified to be fully automatic. They're using extended magazines, which is the portion that holds the bullets,” he said. ”So of course, that's concerning to us for the safety of the citizens of Toronto and for our officers.”

He called the carjackings “very brazen” and said the fact that the suspects involved in the carjackings come from across the GTA speaks to the need to work with regional partners.

“If we look at this crime, for instance, none of them were residents of Toronto, although the crimes were committed in Toronto,” Matys said. “Which means we have to expand our purview and start looking and talking to our other agencies. Because they (the criminals) are going to bed in another jurisdiction. They're waking up in another jurisdiction and committing crimes here.”

Police identified the three suspects as 21-year-old Mehkash Sohal of Mississauga; 19-year-old Daquon Green of Oakville; and a 17-year-old boy from Oshawa who cannot be named under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

All three are facing a laundry list of charges related to weapons and vehicle theft.

Sohal is also charged with robbery with a firearm, dangerous operation and 11 counts of Assault with Intent to Resist Arrest. The two men were also charged with failing to comply with release orders. Green faces an additional charge of breaching his probation.

All three made a court appearance on April 13.

Toronto police say the number of carjackings in the city has more than doubled so far this year.

As of April 15, Toronto has seen 97 carjackings in 2024. That compares to 46 in the same period last year.

At the same time, car thefts have decreased by 14 per cent for the same period. Matys said that's due to the increased usage of faraday bags and other theft prevention tactics.

Police are asking anyone for further information to contact investigators.

- With files from CP24's Beatrice Vaisman

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