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Man sentenced for spree of York Region carjackings, robberies

Victim reported 'having sleepless nights and a sense of fear for the well-being of his family because the carjacking occurred at his home'

A Toronto man who pleaded guilty to 10 crimes, including armed robbery and carjacking, has been sentenced to four years in prison following a lengthy stint in pre-trial custody.

Babison Vilvarajah was arrested by York Regional Police in November 2021 on 13 charges related to a series of carjackings and armed robberies. 

It began in 2019, when Vilvarajah planned to carjack luxury vehicles, which he wrote down in a notebook that he kept in his bedroom, according to court documents.

In the fall of 2019 and 2021, he put the plan into action by committing several violent carjackings and robberies.

Between Oct. 13 and Nov. 5, 2021, a number of incidents occurred in York Region, Toronto, Halton and Peel, including seven robberies and five carjackings, the documents detail.

A 2017 silver Mercedes C43, which was stolen on Sept. 19, 2021, was linked to the crimes. 

Police charged Vilvarajah with seven counts of robbery with a firearm, two counts of possession of property obtained by crime, and four counts of fail to comply with a release order. 

At the time of his arrest, he was already before the court for similar offences dating back to 2019, police said. 

In an agreed statement of facts issued at Vilvarajah's sentencing last month by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Crown detailed each of the man's crimes.

Five of the offences took place in York Region, with two in Richmond Hill and one each in Vaughan and Markham.

His first offence in York Region was in Vaughan in 2019. The incident began when a white BMW M3 was advertised for sale on Kijiji.

On Oct. 3, Vilvarajah called to say he was interested in the vehicle, but wanted to test drive it first.

He arranged to visit the man selling the cars home on the evening of Oct. 4, 2019. When he arrived at the home, Vilvarajah stated he had “cash in hand,” the man selling the car noticed a second man in a sedan parked at the end of his driveway, whom Vilvarajah said was his brother.

After a brief test drive, they returned to the house, when the man got out of the car, Vilvarajah approached with a “black handgun” and pointed it at the man before striking him in the face with it. 

Vilvarajah then took the keys and fled in the BMW and the second man fled in the sedan.

Again in 2019, Vilvarajah committed an offence in York Region, according to court documents, this time in Markham.

On Oct. 10, a man parked his Porsche 911 Turbo Sport in the underground garage at Pacific Mall. 

When he returned to his car an hour later, he saw a BMW M3 parked nearby with its hazard lights activated.

It was the same vehicle Vilvarajah had stolen the week before from the man in Vaughan. There were multiple people in the vehicle.

When the man in Markham got into his vehicle, Vilvarajah got out of the BMW and approached the Porsche’s driver side window stating the man had dropped his wallet. 

The man in the Porsche tried to drive away, but Vilvarajah removed “black handgun” from his jacket and pointed it at the man demanding he get out of his vehicle.

Upon getting out of the vehicle, Vilvarajah got into the Porsche and fled as the BMW followed behind.

The Porsche was tracked to a mall in Scarborough, where the police found it parked in a parking garage. They saw the BMW, with someone in both the front driver and passenger seats, stopped by a van that was occupied by two males.  

Vilvarajah then got out of the BMW and into the driver’s seat of the Porsche.  The police then boxed in all three vehicles. Vilvarajah got out of the Porsche, jumped off the second story of the parking garage, landed on top of a car, and fled through the mall.  

The other parties were arrested at the scene.  The BMW and the Porsche were seized.  The police found a black BB gun in the trunk of the BMW that had the man from Vaughan’s DNA on it.

On Nov. 5, 2019, Vilvarajah was arrested. He was in custody until May, 2020, when he was released on bail with two sureties and a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet.

His Superior Court trial was set to begin in December 2021, Vilvarajah then committed a spree of robberies in October 2021. 

On Oct. 27, 2021, a man parked his Range Rover in front of his home in Richmond Hill after midnight.

He saw a silver Mercedes pull up in front of his vehicle when Vilvarajah got out and pointed a “firearm” at the man and demanded the keys to the Range Rover.

After a struggle, the man was hit with the weapon, but did not turn over his car keys.  Vilvarajah then fled in the Mercedes.

Then on Nov. 4, 2021 the police located the stolen Mercedes parked in a driveway on Botany Hill in Toronto. They placed a tracking device on the vehicle.

That evening, police conducted mobile surveillance on the Mercedes, when Vilvarajah approached a man leaving a Richmond Hill restaurant.

Vilvarajah pressed “what appeared to be a gun” to the man and demanded the keys to his Range Rover, his phone and wallet. 

Vilvarajah then fled in the Range Rover and police saw it and the Mercedes travel in tandem before later finding the Mercedes parked in the driveway on Botany Hill and the Range Rover parked on a street nearby.

The next day, police executed a search warrant at the Botany Hill address and arrested Vilvarajah. 

The man in Vaughan was one of two to provide victim impact statements.

He reported “having sleepless nights and a sense of fear for the well-being of his family because the carjacking occurred at his home.” 

The man also suffered a deep wound to the forehead that needed stitches and left a permanent scar and while he received his vehicle back, it was damaged. He gave up the vehicle, and estimates his financial loss at over $40,000.

The judge considered multiple aggravating factors in sentencing Vilvarajah, who was 22 at the time of his arrest.

He was 20 at the time of his first offence and pleaded guilty "which is a sign of remorse and willingness to take responsibility for his wrongdoing.”

The judge also called his pre-trial custody "harsher than is usually the case, primarily because of frequent and sometimes sustained periods of lockdown due to persistent staffing shortages and at times COVID-19 health protocols.”

The Crown sought a global sentence of nine years in jail, less credit for pre-sentence custody calculated at one and a half to one. 

Vilvarajah was detained for 839 days at Central East Correctional Centre in the Kawartha Lakes region during his initial period of pre-trial detention. That equates to 1,259 days or 42 months calculated at one and a half to one.

Broken down, the sentence includes three years in jail concurrent on each of the 2019 robberies plus one year in jail consecutive on each of the other two counts, for a total of five years.

On the 2021 offences, the Crown sentenced Vilvarajah to four years in jail concurrent on each of the robberies, to be served consecutively to the sentence for the 2019 offences, and 60 days concurrent on the fail to comply.

— With files from Doug Coxson