Toronto Police mired in embarrassment after accidentally detaining a Toronto-bound car

When Toronto Police received a call from a man saying his car had been stolen, they were confused. “They said, ‘What do you mean?’ And I said, ‘It’s in my driveway!’” Toronto Police Constable James Gendron recalled telling reporters after the incident occurred. And no one believed him. “The story was that the car had been blown up in Winnipeg and it was stuffed down the back of a motorcycle.”

It wasn’t until someone spotted the vehicle being driven with the wrong license plate that they realized it had been tracked from Ontario to the Middle East. The car was then shuttled to Halifax, from where it took a train to Paris, had customs stops in Hong Kong and Tokyo, and was headed for the U.S. on a train to Washington, D.C.

The details of how exactly Toronto Police tracked the vehicle to Halifax are still a bit fuzzy, though it appears to have involved a GPS-enabled tracking device planted in the vehicle’s dashboard by security. “I’m not going to speculate on what the operators were doing,” Gendron said. “They knew where the car was, we just didn’t know exactly where it was.” It wasn’t until the car was tracked from New Brunswick that police were able to get its location and track it to Halifax.

It was all very embarrassing for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as the device contained the text message they received from the man who reported the car stolen on the evening of Oct. 14. “My kid was a good boy. We’re going to a few different schools so the laptop is going to have to go,” the text read.

A moment of silence for the poor kid who lost his laptop, which had a very important program running.

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