Police Announce Disruption Of High-End Vehicle Theft Ring

Vehicle theft ring operated in Central and Eastern Ontario and Quebec

Ottawa, ON (Dec. 17, 2019) – Several residents of Quebec are facing numerous criminal charges following a multi-jurisdictional investigation into hundreds of high-end vehicle thefts throughout Central and Eastern Ontario and into Quebec.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Project SHILDON began in June 2019 in response to a series of vehicle thefts occurring throughout Central and Eastern Ontario. These thefts occurred at vehicle dealerships and residential areas, including vehicle owner’s driveways. The accused orchestrated a highly organized operation with multiple people involved in each vehicle theft, with the goal of exporting the stolen vehicles in shipping containers overseas through the Port of Montreal.

At a news conference today, Superintendent Bryan MacKillop, Director, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and representatives from the project’s partner agencies unveiled the results and details of the five-month investigation, along with photos of vehicles recovered. Project SHILDON was conducted by the OPP OCEB, OPP East Region Community Street Crime Units (CSCU), Service de police de Laval (SPL), Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), York Regional Police (YRP), Ottawa Police Service (OPS), with assistance from Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) and Toronto Police Service (TPS). Members of the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), and similar specialty units from numerous law enforcement partners assisted in the execution of warrants last week at locations in Montreal and vicinity.

“This investigation has disrupted a high-end vehicle theft ring spanning throughout Central and Eastern Ontario and into Quebec,” said Superintendent Bryan MacKillop, Director of the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. “We want to remind the public to take precautions when leaving their vehicles unattended including parking in a well-lit area or a locked garage when possible. There have been hundreds of victims affected and we, along with our partners, will continue to take action against criminals who victimize members of our communities.”

During the course of the investigation, the investigative team were able to recover 97 stolen vehicles and interrupt their shipment overseas. Investigators seized numerous items during the execution of the search warrants including items stolen from vehicles and a variety of controlled substances including methamphetamine tablets, MDMA, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and cannabis plants. In addition, police seized tools the accused utilized to gain entry to vehicles and replicate key fobs.

Twenty people have been charged with 350 offences, including charges related to the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

Some of the accused were held in custody upon arrest and some were released on a Promise to Appear and are expected to appear at an Ontario Court of Justice in Ontario and Quebec at various times and dates. There are several accused who are currently outstanding. The investigation continues.

The Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau has a mandate to work with its partners to facilitate the disruption and suppression of criminal enterprises, which affect the citizens of Ontario.

Media resources, including digital still photos of some of the recovered vehicles, a map, and tips to protect against vehicle theft – along with the addendum of charged persons – can be found on the Project SHILDON Media Kit page.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, contributes $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.

Source: Ontario Provincial Police via Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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