York Regional Police have released a video showing the arrest of two suspects who allegedly stole a Mercedes in Richmond Hill – the latest in a string of armed vehicle thefts that has prompted police services in the Greater Toronto Area to create a carjacking task force.
YRP announced Friday that they are leading the task force, which includes Toronto police, Peel police, Durham police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario.
"This task force will further co-ordinate law enforcement efforts across the GTA to combat the issue," YRP said in a release.
The announcement comes as YRP said they made arrests in connection with a carjacking in Richmond Hill on Wednesday evening.
Police said a driver was sitting in his Mercedes in a plaza parking lot in the area of Leslie Street and Green Hill when he was approached by two men armed with handguns.
The suspects allegedly assaulted the driver and stole his watch, wallet and cellphone before fleeing the scene in his vehicle, police said.
A police helicopter tracked the suspects and the stolen vehicle to a Toronto address.
YRP posted the video of the arrest captured from its Air2 helicopter on YouTube. The helicopter was able to locate the vehicle parked on a dead-end street.
"I can't say 100 per cent it's the vehicle, but I'd say this is a 95 per cent look alike," a police officer can be heard saying in the video. Two people are then seen getting out of the vehicle.
The video then jumps to when police arrived at a driveway of a home where the suspects were.
"They're gonna run, they're gonna run," an officer is heard saying in the video.
The two suspects are seen making a dash, jumping fences and running through backyards to evade arrest.
However, a short time later, police are seen apprehending the two suspects.
Police said two 19-year-olds were arrested and charged with robbery with a firearm, disguise with intent and possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm.
Police continue to ask anyone with information to contact the hold-up unit at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 6631 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.
There have been an increase in armed carjacking incidents reported across the GTA this month. Among the victims was Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner whose Range Rover was stolen at gunpoint outside an Etobicoke movie theatre.
Just this week, Toronto police and Durham police responded to six carjacking incidents between late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning. Later that evening, two armed men stole an SUV from a Brampton driveway.
The rash of violent carjackings in Toronto prompted Mayor John Tory to send a letter last week to his federal and provincial counterparts, asking for help to deal with the incidents.
"This situation and the trend line cannot continue, and I am writing to ask for your help," he wrote. "I am confident that by working together in partnership, all three levels of government