Police blitz on stunt drivers at Mississauga mall leads to 31 charges


Published March 1, 2023 at 2:10 pm

A second police blitz on illegal stunt drivers and street racers doing their thing in the overnight hours at a north Mississauga shopping mall has led to dozens of charges as cops and local politicians have teamed up to try stamp out the worrying and worsening problem.

While Peel Regional Police crackdowns the past two weekends have targeted the troubling behaviour at Westwood Square shopping mall in Malton, the problem of stunt drivers revving and racing their cars in mall parking lots and industrial areas late at night and overnight is a Mississauga-wide problem, City of Mississauga councillors say.

And with warmer weather on the way in spring and summer, an already big headache for residents, municipal politicians and police is about to get much worse, Ward 8 Councillor Matt Mahoney has warned.

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who for months has been pushing Peel cops to tackle the out-of-control problem in her Malton ward, said at City council today (March 1) that police efforts this past weekend at Westwood Square led to 31 total charges, three licence suspensions and two cars being impounded.

Numbers were similar during the police blitz the previous weekend, but Parrish worries that the police presence didn’t seem to deter the racers as some 100 returned on the Saturday night.

Parrish has repeatedly said that while police have been doing their best with limited resources, it hasn’t been good enough to curtail the problem.

The councillor added a week ago she’s worried people may get hurt or “someone’s going to get killed” as angry, frustrated and sleepless residents could take matters into their own hands and confront the street racers at the mall.

In the short term, at least, Parrish says she takes a degree of comfort in believing the charges police have laid recently will have some positive impact.

“What’s important about (the charges laid) is their insurance will go through the roof,” said Parrish, noting most of the offenders are in their late teens and may have to answer to their parents for the tickets.

“So, this is a slow, but sure way” of beginning to tackle the problem, she added.

Other measures being considered, Parrish said, as police and mall owners look for solutions is the use of concrete parking blocks, islands, increased security or other barriers that would close up the wide open mall parking lots.

“This is an incorrigible group (of offenders)..and police are doing their darndest” to crack down on them, she added.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who at last Friday’s Peel Police Services Board (PSB) meeting pushed cops for a beefed-up presence at the illegal stunt driving and racing hot spots, said at council on Wednesday that the “reckless, reckless behaviour” must be stopped.

She said police last Friday committed to addressing the problem, but asked for some time to put together a specific plan.

The problem not only persists in Malton, but in most other areas of Mississauga as well, several councillors have said, adding it’s getting worse.

Crombie said that at last Friday’s PSB meeting, she “called for a coordinated regional approach to address the rise in stunt driving at night in parking lots and industrial areas. I’d welcome the opportunity for local councillors, police and property management in hot spots to meet to develop joint solutions.”

Parrish said earlier that those behind the illegal nighttime and overnight street racing at the Malton mall are terrorizing residents in a nearby neighbourhood, and she’s worried the matter will soon become violent if residents try take care of the problem themselves.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising