Police charge 20 in connection to high-end vehicle thefts

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Project SHILDON began in June 2019 in response to a series of vehicle thefts occurring throughout Central and Eastern Ontario. These thefts occurred at vehicle dealerships and residential areas, including vehicle owner’s driveways.

The accused orchestrated a highly organized operation with multiple people involved in each vehicle theft, with the goal of exporting the stolen vehicles in shipping containers overseas through the Port of Montreal.

At a news conference today, Superintendent Bryan MacKillop, Director, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and representatives from the project’s partner agencies unveiled the results and details of the five-month investigation, along with photos of vehicles recovered. Project SHILDON was conducted by the OPP OCEB, OPP East Region Community Street Crime Units (CSCU), Service de police de Laval (SPL), Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), York Regional Police (YRP), Ottawa Police Service (OPS), with assistance from Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) and Toronto Police Service (TPS). Members of the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), and similar specialty units from numerous law enforcement partners assisted in the execution of warrants last week at locations in Montreal and vicinity.

During the course of the investigation, the investigative team were able to recover 97 stolen vehicles and interrupt their shipment overseas. Investigators seized numerous items during the execution of the search warrants including items stolen from vehicles and a variety of controlled substances including methamphetamine tablets, MDMA, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and cannabis plants. In addition, police seized tools the accused utilized to gain entry to vehicles and replicate key fobs.

Twenty people have been charged with 350 offences, including charges related to the Criminal Code of Canada, and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

Some of the accused were held in custody upon arrest and some were released on a Promise to Appear and are expected to appear at an Ontario Court of Justice in Ontario and Quebec at various times and dates. There are several accused who are currently outstanding.

The investigation continues.

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