This past week has seen a lot of news coverage to the growing problem of auto theft in Winnipeg. I'm curious about what other cities are doing to prevent the problem, and looking for answers as to why this issue is so much worse in Winnipeg..
Here are some stories from this week..
Driver beaten after crashing stolen car: Victim critical, assault charge laid
Originally Posted by CBC Archives
Manitoba Public Insurance estimates that a car is stolen every hour, on average, in the province. As of 2005, Manitoba holds the dubious distinction of having the highest auto-theft rate in the country, according to Statistics Canada.
In Winnipeg, 1,712 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 population were reported last year, whereas in Toronto there were 306 thefts reported per 100,000 population.
Tue Jan 9 2007 By Jason Bell | Winnipeg Free Press
A known car thief is in hospital fighting for his life after he was beaten with a baseball bat by a driver he smashed into with a stolen car, a family member said Monday.
Stanley Ross, 22, is in critical condition in a medically induced coma at the Health Sciences Centre.
Police say a security guard who was driving a mobile patrol vehicle was arrested following the incident early Saturday morning and charged with aggravated assault.
Samir Salihovic, 19, was charged after he allegedly beat Ross over the head with a bat after the two were involved in a crash in Elmwood.
Sources say the man worked for S.K. Security Services, a relatively new, licensed security firm in Winnipeg.
Arrested for assault
The security guard's 40-year-old supervisor, who came to the collision scene after the altercation, has also been arrested for assault, a police spokesman said.
Telephone messages left with the company were unreturned Monday.
Ross was wearing handcuffs when police and paramedics arrived, said Sgt. Kelly Dennison of the Winnipeg Police Service.
Late Monday, Ross' older sister said her brother's life is "hanging in the balance" in the intensive-care unit at HSC.
Candy Ross, 24, said doctors have told the family there is no way to tell if her brother will survive the severe head injuries he suffered.
"The next week is critical," she said. "It's hard to see him like that. I've been at the hospital since it happened ...somebody has to be there for him.
"Some of my family can't even bear to see him like this."
Ross was allegedly driving a stolen vehicle when he got into a collision in the area of Plessis Road and Regent Avenue, said Sgt. Dennison. It's believed Ross left the scene of the crash and continued driving until he got involved in a second collision with a security guard mobile patrol vehicle near Midwinter Avenue and Stadacona Street.
An argument started and the suspect allegedly grabbed a baseball bat and hit the victim over the head and the upper body.
Candy Ross said her brother is no saint but did not deserve the beating he received.
"Why would someone go and do that? Did they think they were serving justice?" she said. "I know my brother has done some bad things like stealing cars, but that's no reason to put him on life support."
Ross received a 30-month sentence in 2003 after pleading guilty to several charges, including four counts of vehicle theft.
Salihovic was detained at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. He was also charged with breaching a court order.
"The victim is unable to speak, obviously, he is in critical condition. I do believe there is a number of witnesses that witnessed this entire incident unfold," said Dennison.
"I don't know what (the suspects') intent or intentions were." Provincial justice officials said they are reviewing the incident to ensure the security company's licensing requirements have been followed.
They would not comment on the incident.