Toronto police just helped bust a huge car theft ring that ServiceOntario staff were in on
If you're going to run a massive car theft ring in which you steal hundreds of vehicles and resell them, it would probably help to have someone on the inside who could help screw with their vehicle identification numbers (VIN) to re-register the cars illicitly.
...aaaand that's exactly what a group of clever (recently busted) GTA criminals did, apparently.
In a whopping 22-month investigation called Project MYRA, officers from Ontario Provincial Police, as well as from Toronto, Durham, Halton, Peel, York and other forces uncovered a whopping 214 pilfered vehicles worth $12 million total, all in the hands of three separate criminal organizations that spanned the south of the province.
The richest part is that among a list of 28 people that are now facing 242 charges, four employees of ServiceOntario are included, who were fraudulently re-VINning and registering the cars with the province, which police said was definitely a "vital" part of the operation.
#OPP in collaboration with Équité and our policing partners have recovered 214 stolen vehicles as a part of #ProjectMYRA, a 22-month investigation into criminal organizations modifying VINs and selling stolen vehicles through private sales. https://t.co/z4am1deFCF pic.twitter.com/OoUg618zeF— Thomas Carrique (@OPPCommissioner) July 28, 2022
Many of the cars were illegally registered in Saskatchewan, then had documentation transferred to Ontario, where they were re-registered here by organizations in York, Durham and Toronto.
The cars ranged from dozens of basic Hondas to a $200,000 Lamborghini, all found through 44 painstaking search warrants in the aforementioned regions.
Also seized in the investigation were the usual criminal effects: thousands of grams of cocaine, fentanyl, and other drugs, including 77 kilograms of cannabis; six firearms; $160,000 CAD and nearly $10,000 USD cash; and multiple money-counter and laser-marking machines.
Given that car thefts and carjackings have been on the rise in recent months, authorities are warning people to not only be extra careful with their vehicles, but also when purchasing used vehicles.
"If any part of the transaction or anything leading up to the transaction seems suspicious, do not provide funds and contact law enforcement," the force said in a news conference on the matter Thursday.
Join the conversation Load comments