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The land where Lakeridge Health stands

Editor's Note: This story is part of a series called the Land Where We Stand (LWWS). Uncovering the hidden stories about the land our community is built on is what the Chronicle's feature series, the LWWS, is about.
HomeTow truck turf wars ongoing in GTA

Tow truck turf wars ongoing in GTA

There have been no arrests made in a recent tow truck arson in Ajax on Gamble Drive.

The incident happened more than two weeks ago. Durham Regional Police describe the suspect as a male who took off in a red/orange SUV.

In video footage the police released, a man is seen pouring gasoline on a truck and setting it on fire, then fleeing the scene in a vehicle immediately.

The arson took place on Gamble Drive in Ajax at approximately 6:10 a.m. on Jan. 8.

Const. George Tudos for the Durham Regional Police said, “most of these companies work alongside each other and there’s competition” with one another, resulting in a tow truck turf war across the GTA, Toronto, York and Peel Region.

Tow truck drivers are competing with one another to be the first on the scene.

According to Tudos, in Durham Region since 2019, there have been four tow truck arson incidents, with more in Toronto, York, and Peel regions.

Tudos said these tow truck arsons, “are as a result of these specific turf wars that are going on in the GTA.”

In the Toronto-area, according to media reports, police have charged almost 200 people who were members of several organized crime groups working in the towing industry, which happened in May.

Then in June, Toronto police charged 20 more people who they believe are connected to the turf wars happening in the GTA.

Last March, another video was released ofanother suspect who was caught on a dash camera, lighting a tow truck on fire in Ajax near Elizabeth Street and Betts Road. That suspect has yet to be arrested.

There were no injuries reported in the arsons and the cost of the damage to the tow trucks is high.

Tow trucks are specialized vehicles, Tudos said, adding they can be worth anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 depending on the year of the model. Brand new, Tudos said they can usually cost around $100,000 and up, which includes all the equipment that is put on the vehicles.

If anyone has any information about this most recent incident contact Det. Hawkes of the West Division Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2528.