Burnaby RCMP is urging the public and rideshare drivers to be cautious after four carjackings in a five day period in Burnaby.
Three of the four incidents targeted drivers from an unlicensed Chinese ridesharing app.
In each of the incidents a weapon was brandished, but none of the victims were injured.
The first incident happened on Sunday, February 13 on Spruce Street between Canada Way and Royal Oak Avenue. Two suspects, described as teenagers, brandished a knife at a rideshare driver who was called to the area for a pickup. The suspects claimed to be police officers before stealing the vehicle, which was later recovered in the Highgate area of Burnaby.
On Tuesday, February 15, around 3 p.m. a suspect brandished a gun and attempted to steal a vehicle with a driver still inside in a garage near Burford Street and Griffiths Avenue. However, the suspect was not successful and fled the area. The victim in this incident was not a rideshare driver.
On Tuesday, February 15, around 11:30 p.m., a suspect once again targeted a rideshare vehicle that was stopping to pick up a customer near Kingsway Avenue and Britton Street. A knife was brandished at the driver and the suspect claimed to be a police officer before stealing the 2015 black Audi S4. The stolen vehicle is still outstanding.
The latest incident happened on Thursday, February 17 around 11 p.m on Elwell Street. A Mercedes was stolen from a rideshare driver on his way to pick up a customer, with the suspect brandishing a knife. Shortly after, the stolen Mercedes was involved in a hit and run crash that damaged a parked vehicle. Witnesses reported the suspect fleeing into a waiting SUV with several other people inside.
In the first incident, the two suspects were described as:
- Black male teenagers
- Around 16-years-old.
In the three other incidents, the suspect was described as:
- Black male
- Slim build
- Between 20 and 30 years old.
Our investigators believe these four incidents are connected, but the motive is not yet known. We are asking all drivers to be cautious, including rideshare drivers from all services, said Cpl. Mike Kalanj with Burnaby RCMP.
It’s concerning that weapons were brandished in each of these cases, and that the suspects claimed to be police to two of the victims. We want everyone who drives in Burnaby to be aware of these incidents.
Investigators are in the process of collecting evidence. Burnaby RCMP is urging any other victims to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999. Please quote file number 22-5696.