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HomeNewsPolice Dismantle Alleged Criminal Network Involved In Violent Auto Thefts And Home...

Police Dismantle Alleged Criminal Network Involved In Violent Auto Thefts And Home Invasions

ONTARIO-Twenty-three stolen vehicles with a value of approximately $5 million have been recovered and eight individuals are facing 103 charges, including robbery and firearms charges, relating to an auto theft investigation involving home invasions and other crimes throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and surrounding regions.

Courtesy OPP

In March 2024, an intelligence-led investigation named Project Titanium began after the Provincial Carjacking Joint Task Force (PCJTF), co-led by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Toronto Police Service (TPS), identified a criminal network involved in violent auto thefts, home invasions and other non-violent auto thefts. Due to the nature of the investigation, the OPP-led Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team provided assistance with members from TPS, Peel Regional Police (PRP), York Regional Police (YRP) and Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS), as well as the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario (CISO).

“Vehicle crime is a complex issue, but one thing is simple – our communities deserve to feel safe when they lay their heads down at night. It is the right of every Ontarian to feel at ease in their home, in their communities, and to feel protected by law enforcement. I would like to thank our partner agencies for the assistance with Project Titanium and TPS for co-leading the PCJTF. The results of these collective efforts demonstrate the importance of collaboration between law enforcement partners across the province.” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Marty Kearns, Investigations and Organized Crime.

On June 18 and 19, 2024, search warrants were executed on six vehicles and four locations throughout Peel Region and Toronto, by members from the PATT Team, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit, OPP Central Community Street Crime Units, OPP-led Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit, Provincial Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad, PRP Tactical and Rescue Unit, TPS Emergency Task Force, YRP Financial Crimes, Canada Border Services Agency as well as uniform members from Brantford Police Service (BPS), DRPS, PRP, Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and YRP.

Police seized the following items:

  •         A loaded handgun and ammunition
  •         Approximately $2,000 CAD
  •         Manual break-in and electronic auto theft tools
  •         Fraudulent photo identification
  •         Stolen vehicle parts

Throughout the investigation, police recovered a total of 23 vehicles with an approximate value of more than $5 million.

Four of the accused were remanded into custody, and two were released and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on later dates. A warrant for arrest has been issued for two individuals currently outstanding.

By reporting illegal or suspicious activity to police, we can work together to reduce the number of vehicles stolen each year. Anyone with information is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

SAFETY TIPS

Here are some tips for members of the public to protect themselves and their vehicles from carjackings:

  • Remain vigilant at all times, especially while driving at night.
  • If you see someone approaching your vehicle, lock the doors and press the panic alarm on your key fob. Noise will attract attention to yourself and your vehicle, which may deter those looking to steal your vehicle.
  • Some individuals use intentional rear-end collisions as a tactic to commit carjackings. If your vehicle is rear-ended, remain calm. Do not exit the vehicle until it is safe to do so. Take note of the description of the driver, passengers (if applicable) and vehicle, including the colour, make, model and licence plate number. If you notice anything suspicious, remain inside the vehicle and call police or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest police station or park your vehicle in a well-lit public lot likely to have security cameras, such as a gas station. Call police.
  • If you are approached by armed suspects, remain calm. Comply with their demands and avoid confrontation. Call police when it is safe to do so.
  • Ensure your driveway is well lit and consider installing security cameras.

 

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