Three Mississauga residents among 51 people charged in $17-million GTA stolen car ring
Published January 23, 2023 at 9:47 am
Three Mississauga residents were among the 51 people charged late last month 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 countries around the world.
The coordinated law enforcement effort, dubbed Project Touchdown, began last June and resulted in some 150 charges laid against more than four dozen people, York Regional Police said at a Dec. 21 news conference.
Police did not release the names of those charged at the time, nor where they are from.
However, Peel Regional Police have told insauga.com that a trio of those charged, two men ages 30 and 66 and a 62-year-old woman, are from Mississauga. None of those facing charges are from Brampton.
Police 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.
Police forces across southern Ontario have recorded a dramatic increase in vehicle thefts in recent years. Many of the cars are taken right from people’s driveways and quickly make their way overseas for sale.
“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 in late December.
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