Police investigation recovers stolen vehicles, jewelry, firearms, drugs from Mississauga, Brampton and GTA


Published September 17, 2022 at 7:24 pm

An extensive year-long investigation in Mississauga, Brampton, and areas of the GTA has resulted in the recovery of several stolen vehicles, jewelry, guns, drugs, and money.

The investigation started in Sept. 2021 when Peel Regional Police’s Central Robbery Bureau initiated Project Memphis after three violent and significant home invasion robberies took place in the region.

In one specific home invasion on Sept. 3, 2021, police say suspects made demands for money before assaulting the homeowner. One of the suspects was armed with a black handgun and fired a single shot into the floor in an attempt to intimidate the victim.

The suspects then fled the residence and stole the victim’s 2021 Bentley Bentayga valued at nearly $400,000.

The following two videos from the home’s security camera show the five suspects entering the home and then stealing the Bentley in the driveway as they leave.

The vehicle was quickly located by police and seized. Investigators were able to identify two suspects who had taken possession of the Bentley.

A second re-vinned vehicle, a 2017 Range Rover, was also discovered and seized. As a result, a female suspect who assisted in falsely registering the vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation was identified.

As part of Project Memphis, in late August 2022, investigators arrested and charged the following three people:

Ahmet Ibrahimi, a 29-year-old man from Kitchener, charged with fraud over $5000 and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime.

Anthony Putzu, a 30-year-old man of no fixed address, charged with the possession of property obtained by crime.

Diana Bytyqi, a 28-year-old woman from Cambridge, charged with obstruction of a peace officer and uttering forged documents.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that Project Memphis was part of a larger province-wide criminal organization that also included ties to drug trafficking, vehicle thefts and the re-vinning of stolen vehicles based on fraudulent documentation.

A collaborative effort was undertaken with other police agencies to expand the investigation into Project Myra, an already active joint forces capacity investigation.

28 persons in total were charged as a result of Project Myra, with 242 criminal offences given, including participating in a criminal organization. Arrested and charged were both Ahmet Ibrahimi and Anthony Putzu.

Project Myra investigators located proceeds of crime, drugs, a gun and a magazine during search warrants related to these persons.

The investigation also revealed that a criminal organization based specifically in the Peel Region was responsible for re-vinning (altering VINs) vehicles stolen from Ontario, fraudulently registering them, and then reselling the vehicles.

Project Myra has been an extensive operation, and police continue to identify and locate re-vinned vehicles associated to these criminal organizations. The investigation is ongoing.

During the Memphis and Myra investigations, Peel police became involved in a separate investigation on May 17, 2022, regarding a home invasion that had occurred in Brampton.

Named Project Decker, the investigation discovered another distinct group believed to be responsible for robberies while utilizing stolen vehicles. These vehicles were linked to Project Myra and investigators collaborated with the Myra team to locate and arrest the suspects.

As a result of this information received, on July 6, 2022, Project Myra investigators arrested and charged two members of this group with stolen vehicle and firearm-related charges. Both suspects were on parole at the time of the arrest.

Ismael Ajiroba, a 24-year-old man from Brampton, was charged with the following offences:

  • Possession of property obtained by crime
  • Possession of a firearm while prohibited
  • Possession of ammunition while prohibited
  • Possession of a loaded prohibited firearm

Shareef Robinson, a 25-year-old man from Brampton, was charged with the following offences:

  • Two counts of possession of property obtained by crime
  • Possession of a firearm while prohibited
  • Possession of ammunition while prohibited
  • Possession of a loaded prohibited firearm
  • Failure to stop after an accident

Police seized two loaded handguns, drugs, cash, and jewelry from the two men, as well as a re-vinned Acura RDX and Jeep Cherokee.

In addition, during Project Decker, a vehicle was identified that was connected to two jewelry store robberies in Peel that occurred on May 11, 2022, and May 19, 2022.

In the May 11 robbery, a male was arrested during the incident with a loaded handgun. The suspect vehicle was later recovered by investigators and is believed to be used in other robbery-related incidents in the GTA that are still under current investigation.

Harris Mohamed, a 24-year-old man from Toronto, was arrested in the May 11 jewellery store robbery and charged with the following offences:

  • Robbery with a firearm
  • Disguise with intent
  • Use firearm while in the commission of an offence
  • Point firearm
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Knowledge of unauthorized possession of firearm
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition
  • Unauthorized possession of a prohibited device or ammunition

“The unwavering perseverance and dedication of investigators spanning 12 months highlight the commitment of Peel Regional Police to combating organized crime groups impacting our communities,” Peel Regional Police said. “Community safety and well being is our highest priority.”

Aspects of these investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Central Robbery Bureau at 905-453-2121 ext. 3410.

All images courtesy of Peel Regional Police. 

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising