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Man arrested after high-speed pursuit of carjacked SUV dragging burning motorcycle

Police tape demarking a crime scene.

JOHN LEHMANN/The GLOBE AND MAI

A young man is in custody after a burglary attempt in Richmond Hill led to a high-speed pursuit of a suspect speeding in a carjacked SUV with a motorcycle wedged underneath.

Sparks and broken parts were flying out from the motorcycle pinned under the car, setting off a fire, said Constable Blair McQuillan of York Regional Police.

There was so much smoke from the burning motorcycle that at one point police lost sight of the vehicle they were chasing, Constable McQuillan said.

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The incident began just before dawn when York Regional patrollers were called to a strip mall near the corner of Yonge Street and Silverwood Avenue after the burglary alarm in a variety store was set off.

The suspect tried to flee on a motorcycle but then collided with a Lexus SUV, which he carjacked.

As he tried to speed away on Yonge St., the suspect ran over his motorcycle, which remained jammed under the carriage of the Lexus.

A high-speed car chase began but, after about eight kilometres, the flames from the motorcycle threatened to engulf the Lexus, forcing the suspect to stop the vehicle and continue on foot.

By then, a major police operation had been deployed, involving a helicopter and the canine squad.

After running on railway tracks, forcing a brief delay in a Toronto-bound GO train, the suspect was tracked by police dogs and arrested.

CTV television footage of the suspect being checked by ambulance technicians showed a man with closed-cropped hair and glasses, only wearing a T-shirt and shorts. He was barefoot and his legs were splattered with mud as he was taken away in handcuffs. Meanwhile, firefighters extinguished the burning remains of the Lexus and the motorcycle.

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Constable McQuillan said the suspect is a 20-year-old from Toronto.

Yonge St. was closed in both directions from Vandorf Sideroad to Bloomington Road and in the northbound direction from Gamble Road to Brookside Road.

The 5:22 a.m. Allandale-Waterfront GO Train was delayed 15 minutes because of the police investigation, said a spokesman for the transit service, Malon Edwards.

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About the Author
National reporter

Tu Thanh Ha is based in Toronto and writes frequently about judicial, political and security issues. He spent 12 years as a correspondent for the Globe and Mail in Montreal, reporting on Quebec politics, organized crime, terror suspects, space flights and native issues. More

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