Speakers Corner: Car theft victim says calls to police were ignored

Car thefts are on the rise in the GTA—no secret about that. But are police doing enough to solve cases of stolen cars? One woman shares her painfully exhaustive attempt at justice after her Lexus was swiped seven months ago! Pat Taney reports.

By Pat Taney

Car thefts across the GTA are on the rise, there’s no secret about that, but one Toronto woman is taking over today’s Speakers Corner to share her painfully exhaustive attempt for justice and why she says nobody is listening.

Joanna Moskalenko has had a rough 2022 when it comes to her vehicles. She’s now driving a rental after the car she owns was broken into earlier this month in an attempted car theft.

“They damaged the panel, the electronics are all out of whack and none of the lights work,” she told CityNews.

While that’s bad, it’s better than what happened to her last car, a 2018 Lexus RX 450h, which was stolen back in February.

“It was stolen in the middle of the night. I got up to go to work and it was gone.”

She reported it to her insurance company and filed a police report.

“In February, when it was stolen, there was no response from police, not even a single call,” she said.

Even more frustrating for her is the apartment building where she lives caught the thieves on camera. She reviewed the video with the building’s security department. She admits the suspects were masked and hard to identify but she doesn’t believe police actually saw the video. We asked the building manager if police ever came to look at it and we were told no.

“Something has to be changed … as the victim you feel unprotected. I felt so helpless.”

CityNews reached out to the Toronto Police Service, asking why Moskalenko’s call for justice went unanswered. We were told an investigator did reach out to her, she confirms they did but only two days after we asked police about it. Again, more than seven months after her vehicle was stolen.

“I am sure they only reached out to me because CityNews asked them about my issue,” she told us by phone. “I feel like I’m helpless and nobody is here to protect me and solve this issue.”

She knows she’s not alone — car thefts are skyrocketing across the GTA with nearly 7,000 reported thefts this year alone. Toronto Police say they are working to address the rising thefts. In May, they launched the Organized Crime Investigative Support Team, which will focus on car thefts and carjackings.

Since her car was stolen before the unit started, Moskalenko hopes police are now taking these crimes seriously.

“Something has to be changed,” she said. “You live in Canada, you pay taxes, you are a hard worker and as the victim you feel unprotected. I felt so helpless.”

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