22 vehicles worth $2 million recovered as cops bust auto theft ring in Mississauga, Brampton

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Published September 7, 2023 at 4:13 pm

Six men face a total of 42 charges in connection with Project Vinny. (Photo: Peel Regional Police)

Two Mississauga men and two others from Brampton are among six facing dozens of charges after a major luxury vehicle theft ring operating in Peel and across the GTA was busted by police.

Dubbed Project Vinny, the year-long Peel Regional Police investigation also resulted in the recovery of 22 vehicles worth $1.95 million, Peel Deputy Chief Marc Andrews said in a news release.

Vehicles seized by police, most of them luxury vehicles, include 13 Land Rovers, five Dodge Rams, two Porsches, a Cadillac SRX and a Honda CRV.

Meanwhile, investigators have issued a warrant for the arrest of a seventh man while another man yet to be identified by police is also being hunted in connection with the ongoing investigation, which began with the theft of a luxury vehicle in Brampton in August 2022, Andrews added.

Other auto thefts in Mississauga, Brampton and York quickly followed, prompting police to dedicate additional resources to the major probe.

Andrews described the auto theft ring as “significant and organized.”

“Investigators determined some of the stolen vehicles were being re-vinned, fraudulently re-registered and illegally sold,” Andrews said.

Police note that as auto thefts and major car theft rings have been on the rise in Peel and across southern Ontario in recent years, they’ve been kept busy trying to keep tabs on the criminal behaviour.

“Project Vinny is one of multiple successful auto theft investigations that Peel Regional Police have dedicated efforts and resources towards,” said Andrews. “We want to send the clear message to individuals engaging in auto theft crime that we are more committed than ever in holding those responsible accountable.”

The six people arrested face a total of 42 charges.

Van George Snjaqly, 29, and Hapishan Sivasegaran, 25, both of Mississauga, are charged with possession of property obtained by crime. Snjaqly faces one count of the charge while Sivasegaran is charged with two counts.

Riaz Mohammed, 23, of Brampton, is also charged with possession of property obtained by crime (five counts) while Gajan Karunanithy, 32, also of Brampton, is charged with three counts of utter forged documents.

Robert Ramnarine, 27, and Oneil Ricketts, 36, both of Toronto, are charged with utter forged documents, the former facing 15 counts and the latter 12 counts.

As the investigation continues, Peel police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Calvin Peacock, 39, of no fixed address.

Calvin Peacock, 39, of no fixed address, is wanted by police. (Photo: Peel Regional Police)

He’s wanted on charges of possession of property obtained by crime (two counts), theft of motor vehicle and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Police say Peacock is known to allegedly arrange test drives for high-end vehicles that are listed for sale online by members of the public in Peel and neighbouring regions.

In previous incidents, police allege that Peacock drove stolen vehicles in an aggressive manner toward victims, showing no concern for public safety.

Investigators are also seeking assistance from the public in identifying another man believed to be involved in some of the vehicle thefts.

He’s described as non-white, with a medium complexion, short black hair, standing 5-foot-8 with a thin build, a full beard and glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-453–2121, ext. 2133, or Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

This unidentified man is wanted by police in connection with some of the auto thefts. (Photo: Peel Regional Police)

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