Home invasion, car theft forces 2 Toronto schools into hold and secure

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Toronto police say a car was recovered in the city's west end Thursday after a home invasion in the Fort York Boulevard and Spadina Avenue area. (Clara Pasieka/CBC - image credit)
Toronto police say a car was recovered in the city's west end Thursday after a home invasion in the Fort York Boulevard and Spadina Avenue area. (Clara Pasieka/CBC - image credit)

A home invasion forced two Toronto schools to enact hold and secure precautions Thursday morning.

Police say it happened in the Fort York Boulevard and Spadina Avenue Area, and a car was stolen at the time.

That vehicle was later located in the city's west end, where a man was arrested. Investigators say there is at least one other suspect outstanding, with the possibility of others.

Police say they also located a victim, who was OK and did not need medical attention. Investigators say they believe this was a targeted event, and there is no larger threat to public safety in the area.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said on Twitter Thursday that both Richview Collegiate Institute and Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School were under a hold and secure for a period of time, but that precaution has since been lifted.

A hold and secure is a school response to an incident in the general vicinity, but not on or near school property. The day continues as normal inside the school, the TDSB says, but as a precautionary measure, outer doors are locked and no one can come or go from the building.

Auto thefts on the rise

At a Toronto Police Service board meeting earlier this year, the service reported that auto thefts were up 58 per cent between 2017 and 2020 and up another 8 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020.

In 2021, about 80,000 vehicles were stolen across Canada, a one per cent increase from the previous year, according to Equite Association, an organization formed from the investigative branch of the Insurance Bureau of Canada and CANATICS, which analyzes auto thefts across the country.

The big targets were cars with push-button ignition systems, which are the vast majority of vehicles on the road, officials said. High-end cars were also targeted, but so too were reliable, abundant vehicles like Honda CR-Vs and Civics.

The Lexus RX350, the 2019-2017 models, were the top three stolen cars in Ontario in 2021, Equite said.

In Toronto, the Honda CR-V was the top car stolen last year, with 654 nabbed, followed by the Lexus RX350, with 418 taken. Range Rovers and Toyota Highlanders were also among the most stolen.

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