Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (16) looks towards the scoreboard after a penalty call goes against the Maple Leafs during first period NHL first-round playoff series action against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Toronto on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (16) looks towards the scoreboard after a penalty call goes against the Maple Leafs during first period NHL first-round playoff series action against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Toronto on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Leaf star Mitch Marner’s SUV stolen in armed carjacking in Toronto

Black Range Rover was taken outside a movie theatre

Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner was the victim of a carjacking in Toronto, the hockey team said Tuesday as city police investigated.

Marner was not hurt in the carjacking that took place in the city’s west end on Monday evening, the team said.

“He was unharmed in the incident and the Club & Mitch are thankful for Toronto Police Services’ support,” the Maple Leafs wrote in a statement. “Anyone with information is asked to reach out to Toronto Police Services.”

Police have asked that “neither Marner or the Club comment any further on the details of the incident” as it is under investigation, the Leafs added.

When asked about their investigation, Toronto police pointed to a tweet they sent Monday night that referenced a carjacking in west Toronto involving a black Range Rover. The tweet said a man was allegedly robbed of a car by two suspects with handguns and one with a knife.

Marner’s teammate reflected on the carjacking Tuesday morning.

“It’s scary, that’s life. That’s not hockey,” Jason Spezza said.

The carjacking comes a day after York Regional Police released a video about car hijackings being on the rise in the Greater Toronto Area.

In the video, the force in the region north of Toronto says thieves have been typically following vehicles when they park, ambushing drivers when they exit their vehicles and stealing their car keys by force.

It also notes that the heists often involve high-end brands like Mercedes Benz, Audi and Porsche.

In 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.

Police are advising all drivers to be aware of their surroundings and to call 911 if they suspect they are being followed.

Marner and the Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday in a seventh and deciding game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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