At least one suspect wanted in the vandalism of 18 SPVM patrol cars
A suspect was captured by cameras before twenty SPVM patrol cars were vandalized late Wednesday evening.
A young suspect was reportedly captured by surveillance cameras before puncturing the tires of SPVM patrol cars at neighborhood station 23, which hosts squads that respectively fight against street gangs and armed violence in the metropolis.
The suspect is a young white male, who was only wearing black clothing: a toque, a neck warmer, a coat, a “hoodie » as well as jogging pants.
These misdeeds on SPVM patrol vehicles are unacceptable and clearly constitute an attack on the symbol of law, order and peace that we represent. But, in the end, they mainly had the effect of impairing our ability to intervene urgently with citizens in order to ensure their safety, wrote in an internal memo the acting deputy director, Jean-Michel Sylvestre, at the head of the direction of the gendarmerie.
Late last Wednesday evening, the tires of 18 patrol vehicles were slashed with a knife mainly at neighborhood stations 23, as well as at neighborhood stations 22 and 38.
The vehicles are temporarily withdrawn from the SPVM fleet, in order to be repaired. To prevent other vehicles from being damaged, surveillance has been increased in all Montreal police parking lots.
In addition, the investigation of these wrongdoings has been prioritized and all the necessary personnel have been deployed so that we can apprehend the responsible person(s), the deputy director added in writing.
Contacted in the hours following the acts of vandalism, the Montreal Police Department said it took the situation very seriously.
“Ensuring the safety of our police officers is a constant concern of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). The actions taken last night are unacceptable and put the safety of both police officers and citizens at risk. Means have been implemented since last night to avoid a recurrence and try to identify those responsible. »
— The Communications and Media Relations Division
This is not the first time that SPVM patrol cars have been targeted. For example, seven police vehicles were set on fire in July 2020.
According to our information, SPVM investigators suspect more anti-police activists than members of organized crime behind the recent events.
Finally, with the approach of the annual demonstration of the COBP, we sent to the heads of neighborhood police stations a memorandum concerning the protection of SPVM facilities and infrastructures, concluded Mr. Sylvestre, while promising to keep the police troops informed of the slightest developments in the situation. criminal investigation underway.
On March 15, the annual demonstration against police brutality is scheduled to take place in the streets of downtown Montreal. According to several police officers, these acts of vandalism are not a surprise in the run-up to the demonstration, which always takes place in mid-March.