Members of the York Regional Police Auto Cargo Theft Unit, in collaboration with Toronto Police Auto Theft Suppression Project, the Peel Regional Police Commercial Auto Crime Unit and Peel Regional Police Criminal Investigations Bureaus, have charged 18 people with more than 170 offences and seized $4.5 million worth of stolen high-end vehicles during Project Majestic.
The project focused on thefts of Lexus, Toyota and Honda sport utility vehicles that occurred throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, following a two-month investigation, investigators executed eight search warrants across the GTA and in Brossard, Quebec. Seventy-three stolen vehicles were seized, with a value of more than $4.5 million. Charges include Conspiracy, Trafficking of Property Obtained by Crime and Theft of a Motor Vehicle.
Investigators identified a criminal syndicate responsible for stealing high-end vehicles from residential driveways across the GTA. The suspects would enter the vehicle and reprogram the ignition computer, allowing it to be driven away utilizing a new key. The vehicles were driven directly to the Port of Montreal or loaded into a sea container in Toronto and transported to Montreal by rail. The containers were then loaded onto ships and delivered to buyers in Africa or the United Arab Emirates.
Investigators in this joint-forces operation are grateful for the assistance of the Durham Regional Police Service, the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
A video from the investigation can be found here: https://youtu.be/7iuKvIsIl0Q
The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-866-876-5423, ext.6651, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.