Hamilton Police, along with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) say they have made a major dent in the organized auto theft and exporting business in Southern Ontario.
Following a 4-month investigation, police announced four arrests today and said the criminal organization, which may have been going on for several years, has been shut down.
Police believe more than 39 vehicle thefts valued at more than $1.5 million are involved in what has been called Project Seagull. Investigators also recovered seven vehicles that were destined for Iraq and believe that more had already been illegally exported.
Six Hamilton locations were served with warrants and 12 stolen vehicles were recovered along with vehicle parts, cash, gold jewellery, car keys and stolen Mexican passports.
Three men and a woman, all in their 40’s and 50’s from Hamilton have been charged with a variety of organized crimes. They’ve been released on bail and have court dates in January.