215 stolen cars worth $17 million recovered by cops in Mississauga, Brampton, Oshawa, Halton and York


Published December 21, 2022 at 12:08 pm

More than 50 people have been charged in a huge organized car theft bust that saw cops in York, Mississauga, Brampton, Halton and Oshawa join forces to recover 215 stolen vehicles worth $17.4 million that were destined for other countries.

The coordinated law enforcement effort, dubbed Project Touchdown, began six months ago and has resulted in more than 150 charges laid against 51 people, York Regional Police said at a news conference late this morning (Dec. 21).

Police have not yet released names of those charged.

Police officers have also seized $100,000 in firearms, including 15 handguns, one assault-style rifle, magazines and ammunition as well as quantities of drugs including fentanyl, MDMA, cocaine and Oxycodone worth an undisclosed amount of money.

Police say the stolen vehicles were destined for international locations.

The ongoing joint-forces investigation is spearheaded by York police with help from Peel Regional Police, Durham Regional Police, Halton Regional Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and Équité Association, with assistance from CP and CN Police.

“Over the past several years, York police and partner agencies have seen an increase in thefts of vehicles and we have increased efforts to combat this issue,” York police said in a news release.

Vehicle owners are encouraged to follow these safety tips to help prevent their vehicles from being stolen:

  • if possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage, as the majority of the vehicles have been stolen from driveways
  • use a steering wheel lock. It will also act as a visible deterrent
  • install a lock on the data port. This simple device can be purchased online and blocks access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys
  • consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system. Ensure cameras are properly placed and functioning for day and night use. Familiarize yourself with the system so it can be reviewed and accessed immediately

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