A joint investigation between three GTA police forces have led to the recovery of $5 million in stolen property with high-end vehicles the primary target.
On Friday, York Regional Police, Toronto Police Services and Peel Region Police showcased 12 high-end and common vehicles recovered in a multi-jurisdictional operation dubbed “Project Cyclone” which involved a complex criminal ring.
“This investigation started with a warm-up theft here in York Region, a car left unattended in a driveway, ripe for the picking,” said York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe. “It ended up with the recovery of $5 million in stolen property.”
The organized crime spree involved residential break and enters where vehicle keys were taken to steal the homeowner’s vehicle. Vehicles obtained were falsely registered and went through modifications at an auto body shop in Vaughan.
The investigation has led to a total 137 charges being laid among 23 people.
York Regional Police Superintendent Brian Bigras, from the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit, said the operation involved a criminal group whose reach was beyond just the GTA, extending across Canada and internationally.
“The GTA is home to a significant number of organized crime groups, in large part due to its population, which provides ample criminal opportunities to supply, demand and consumption, ” said Bigras. “The crime groups occasionally work in concert with each other.”
Investigators say that hundreds of the stolen vehicles were sold around the world, and that the investigation is on-going.