NEWS

Stroller thefts spark lockdown

[attach]1456[/attach]Own a baby stroller?

May want to start treating it like you would a bicycle, and start locking it up tight.

That’s the advice police and parent bloggers are giving parents and guardians after a spate of baby stroller snatchings last month led to the arrest of one woman.

On March 15, police began an investigation after responding to a call regarding a stroller theft in the Pape and Cosburn area. The owner of a missing stroller saw what he thought was his stroller for sale on Craigslist, a classifieds website.

Detective Adkin Holder said the parent met the seller to buy back his stroller and took photos of him and his female companion. The parent identified the stroller as his own, and called police.

“He had some markings on it that were identifiable,” said Holder. “He also changed one of the flat tires on it that he knew was his before.”

Police now allege the couple was working together to steal baby strollers in various areas of the city.

Emma Luck, 22, has been arrested and charged with 12 counts of theft under $5,000. As of press time, Michael Pavlova, 25, is wanted for theft under $5,000 and for possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.

Holder said police are still investigating, as no other strollers have been recovered.

Jen Maier, founder of urbanmoms.ca, a website that offers parenting tips for mothers in Toronto, said parents should take precaution with their baby equipment.

“People aren’t realizing how valuable strollers are,” she said. “I think especially if you have a new one, I’d treat it as a valuable possession.”

Some strollers, including the baby car seat, can cost over $1,000.

Maier said she often sees many strollers left outside, which makes them targets for thieves. She suggests parents leave strollers in backyards.

“If you’re leaving it outside, treat it like a bike and put a bike lock around it,” she said. “Put it out of sight.”

Holder said he hopes this is not the beginning of a trend of baby stroller thefts in Toronto.