The North Bay Police Service is not a member of the recently announced Provincial Carjacking Joint Task Force (PCJTF) but Police Chief Scott Tod says the city is affected by criminal activity like carjacking that can be linked to organized crime that reaches our community.
"We haven't had the extent of automobiles stolen within our community, at the rate seen in southern Ontario — primarily luxury vehicles," said Tod. "It is a concern to me in the fact that we believe the profit from vehicle theft in Ontario is funding gang activity."
Tod noted the NBPS has been a participant in the OPP-led Guns and Gangs Joint-Forces Operation (JFO) since 2022. That operation unites law enforcement agencies in a shared guns and gangs strategy.
As far as the carjacking, Tod believes automobile thefts are helping to fund organized crime — primarily in southern Ontario — yet the "transient nature of organized crime extends across Canada, including North Bay."
Police agencies across Ontario recently announced the formation of the Provincial Carjacking Joint Task Force (PCJTF), aimed at addressing the rising incidents of violence related to auto crimes.
The purpose of the PCJTF is to disrupt the networks responsible for high-risk auto thefts, which increasingly involve violence, firearms, and other weapons. Members of the task force will work collaboratively to maximize enforcement efforts against criminal organizations involved in violent vehicle crimes that are operating within the GTA.
The incidents of violence related to auto crimes occurring in Ontario have increased over the last several years. There have been more than 300 carjackings in the GTA in 2023, with over 200 of those occurring in Toronto.
Thieves are stealing vehicles, and then using those vehicles to carry out other crimes, or are shipping them overseas, where they are resold. Alternatively, vehicle identification numbers (VINs) are altered and the vehicles are sold domestically.