And more are expected to come in.
The scourge of car ownership is maintaining it. No, not maintaining the car, but maintaining ownership. Along with keeping up payments and avoiding hazards on the road, people have to deal with the scum of the earth who steal. And with car theft on the rise, car owners have to be extremely vigilant. Police get help from manufacturers in the fight against crime, but right now, it looks like Canadian police have gained the upper hand. Local news is reporting that police in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) "have busted a car theft ring and seized more than $4.5 million worth of high-end vehicles stolen from GTA driveways."
This past Tuesday, police executed eight search warrants across the area and in Brossard, Quebec after a two-month investigation called "Project Majestic". This focused on the thefts of Lexus, Toyota, and Honda SUVs. A picture from video footage released by the police shows a Lexus RX being broken into, and despite the advanced security systems on these expensive SUVs, the thieves would be able to drive the cars away in a matter of minutes. Detective Scott Cresswell of the York Regional Police Auto Cargo Theft Unit (phew, that's a mouthful) says that "They would generally scout cars in the early evening hours. Returning in the early morning hours, they would force entry to the vehicle." The thieves would then reprogram the ignition computer to recognize a new key, or fob, allowing it to be driven away.
Cresswell continues to say that the ring operated with several levels and had groups of thieves bringing in stolen vehicles to traffickers. These traffickers then get the vehicles to the Port of Montreal or loaded onto a container in Toronto before being transported to the port. These containers are then loaded onto ships before buyers in Africa or the United Arab Emirates would receive the vehicles in Nigerian or Ghanaian ports. Some vehicles may still be on their way to these ports, but police are ready to inspect them when they arrive. Nevertheless, thus far, police have seized 60 vehicles with more expected to come. 18 people are being charged with 170 offences relating to the thefts. Excellent work.