Video shows thieves ramming a truck into a car in a Brampton driveway

A video circulating online shows a family running screaming from a Brampton home after thieves stole a black pickup truck and rammed it into a car in the driveway before running away.

The video shows the pickup hitting a car parked behind it to get free, resulting in the car hitting another car. The thieves damage the house as they escape. Some family members are seen chasing the truck on foot as it drives away.

Nick Milinovich, deputy chief of Peel Regional Police, said the incident is the latest example of brazen car thefts in the region.

“These things happen every day,” Milinovich said in an interview with CBC Toronto.

“It puts people’s lives at risk and at risk.”

Officers were called to the home near Dixie Road and Balmoral Drive about 4:45 a.m. on June 8, Peel police said in an email Friday.

Five suspects are wanted in connection with the incident, police said. The vehicle has not been recovered and no arrests have been made.

In the Peel region, 8,322 cars were stolen last year, which equates to around 23 cars per day, according to crime statistics on the Peel Police website.

Milinovich said the number has dropped to 17 per day this year, but it is “still far too many cars being stolen from driveways or forcibly taken from people in the middle of the night.”

A close-up of several cars.
Auto theft claims cost Canada $1.5 billion last year – including $1 billion in Ontario alone, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Vaughn and Markham top the list for car theft claims in Ontario. (Grant Linton/CBC)

Auto theft claims cost Canada $1.5 billion last year – including $1 billion in Ontario alone, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The agency says Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Vaughan and Markham top the list for auto theft claims in Ontario

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said he’s concerned the money made by thieves is being used for organized crime, like “we’ve never seen in Canadian history.”

Mayor and deputy police chief learn from Homeland Security

Earlier this week, Brown and Milinovich took a trip to the Port of Newark, New Jersey, at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to learn how U.S. law enforcement recovers stolen vehicles. The two-day trip included harbor tours, police updates and briefings on safety protocols, the City of Brampton said.

Brown called their operations and technology “very impressive.” Meanwhile, Canada has “a system that is broken and in desperate need of repair,” he said.

Speaking of the US, Brown said: “They have scanners that measure the density of the shipping container so they can immediately see if there are any goods that don’t match the description.”

“They also have full communication with local law enforcement agencies, something we don’t have in Canada where there are silos between different law enforcement agencies,” he added.

“And finally, in the United States they have a requirement that when shipping containers you must declare what is in them 72 hours in advance.”

Brampton will get a $3.5 million freight scanner in July, Brown said.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says the technology he recently saw in the US being used to combat car theft was “very impressive.” (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

In a statement to CBC Toronto, a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said the agency has access to a shipping container for two full days before it is loaded onto a ship.

“Depending on the ship, the port and the goods being exported, loading the ship can take several days, meaning the time frames in the US and Canada cannot be directly compared,” the CBSA said.

The agency said the number of stolen vehicles recovered in Canada compares favorably with the number reported by the U.S. In 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported the recovery of 1,235 stolen vehicles nationally, while the CBSA intercepted 1,348 vehicles.

“When we become aware of situations, we take action. We are investigating and taking appropriate action as required by Canadian law,” the report said.

Last month, as part of Canada’s national plan to combat auto theft, the federal government announced it is investing in new technologies.

The national action plan includes additional funding for law enforcement agencies and changes to the law that would create new penalties for car theft linked to organized crime, for car theft involving youth and for possession of devices that facilitate theft.