Police issue warning over chloroform stolen from car

A common crime led police to release a very uncommon public safety alert.

Toronto Police say a woman’s car was broken into sometime between the night of Sept. 17 and morning of Sept. 18 near Riverdale and Carlaw avenues. Among the things stolen from the victim’s car was a 50ml bottle of chloroform.

On Sept. 19 police released a public safety alert for a stolen chemical, warning the public that chloroform can be harmful or fatal if ingested, particularly by a child.

Constable Victor Kwong says the victim was likely not targeted for having chloroform.

“It was a random break-in to the car and other things were stolen, so this wasn’t targeted,” he said.

“This victim, the owner of the car, there’s nothing suspicious about her … it was a totally lawful explanation for her to have (the chloroform). It just happened to be her car that was broken into.”

While it’s common for public safety alerts to be regarding stolen medication and drugs, Kwong says this is the only time he has seen an alert for a stolen chemical. However, he added for situations like this, it is the investigating officer’s discretion as to whether or not the stolen objects pose a threat to the public.

“I don’t recall seeing something like this (before),” he said. “Any officer who felt that whatever was stolen could be a danger could (submit a public safety alert).”