Today, after months of investigative work, police have announced the arrest of close to 20 individuals allegedly associated with the theft of 211 high-end vehicles. The vehicles, with an estimated value of $11 million, are alleged to have been stolen throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
“IBC congratulates all the law enforcement agencies that were instrumental in these arrests, in particular the Toronto Police Service, and the York, Halton, and Peel Police Services, along with the RCMP, CN Rail Police and Canada Border Services Agency,” said Rick Dubin, vice-president, Investigative Services, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
IBC investigators in Ontario, Montreal and Halifax, working with regional law enforcement agencies, RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), were able to identify the recovered stolen vehicles and their rightful owners. The stolen vehicles were bound for lucrative international markets in West Africa. IBC investigators also assisted the CBSA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigators, as well as Customs authorities in Spain and Belgium, to identify and intercept containers holding stolen vehicles, enabling their return to Canada. Since 2008, in partnership with CBSA, IBC has identified and seized over $60 million worth of stolen vehicles at ports.
“The enormous profits in auto theft attract organized crime. Investigations leading to arrests, such as these significantly interfere with these criminal operations,” said Dubin. “IBC is committed to supporting our law enforcement agencies in their fight against auto theft, and other insurance crimes so that honest policyholders aren’t the ones affected.”
As IBC recently noted in the release of its annual Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles list, auto theft occurrences increased slightly in 2014 after several years of decline. IBC encourages all car owners to remain vigilant to deter car thieves, and to never leave an unattended vehicle running.
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