Police learn from U.S. Homeland Security about stopping stolen cars shipped overseas from Mississauga and Brampton

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Published June 11, 2024 at 4:33 pm

Police learn from U.S. Homeland Security auto theft patrick brown

Peel police want to use lessons learned south of the border to disrupt car thieves shipping stolen cars out of the country from Mississauga and Brampton.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security just wrapped a two-day tour of the Port of Newark showing Peel Regional Police Dep. Chief Nick Milinovich and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown how the busiest commercial port on the eastern seaboard combats auto crime.

The mayor and police have been calling for upgraded scanning technology and more access to Canadian ports to stop a flood of stolen vehicles leaving the country. Milinovich says more stolen vehicles are recovered at Newark than at any other U.S. port, something he says is proof that Canada can step up its anti-auto theft game.

“You can protect supply chains and simultaneously scan containers and cargo, ensuring only lawful goods circulate through our ports. It’s high time Canada adopts these proven strategies and tools to safeguard our own borders from the scourge of auto theft,” he said in a release.

The mayor and Milinovich say they’re putting together a report on what was learned from the port visit and submit the findings to Public Safety Canada for consideration.

Brown has repeatedly called for enhanced screening measures at major shipping facilities including the Port of Montreal where nearly 600 stolen vehicles were recovered earlier this year. Those calls were partially answered last month when the federal government announced Brampton’s rail hub will be the first in the GTA to get new scanning technology.

The new National Action Plan on Combatting Auto Theft includes proposed changes to the Criminal Code around penalties for auto thefts, specifically, thefts tied to money laundering and organized crime. It also includes plans for more intelligence sharing between municipal, provincial and federal governments.

“Adding scanners at our ports and intermodal hubs is crucial for law enforcement. It gives us the tool we need in our arsenal and is an additional layer that would allow us to increase our ability to identify and interdict vehicles destined for export,” Brown said in a release.

Data from police shows there were over 500 auto theft incidents reported in Mississauga and Brampton over the last few weeks, marking the second consecutive month with such high numbers.

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