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Police in Ontario, Quebec arrest 31 people in connection to auto thefts in ‘Project Volcano’

Police in Ontario and Quebec arrested 31 suspects in a “major interprovincial operation” targeting auto theft in Ontario.

Ontario Provincial Police worked with the Sûreté du Québec and Montreal police as part of ‘Project Volcano.’

“We are seeing a trend where individuals are offending in Ontario while residing in Quebec,” OPP Deputy Commissioner Marty Kearns said.

“In all of the cases brought before you today, suspects were apprehended by the OPP. After charges were laid, the accused failed to appear for court purposes or violated their release conditions, resulting in warrants being issued for their arrests. ‘Project Volcano’ was an initiative to bring these such individuals before the courts.”

Police say the OPP, Sûreté du Québec and Montreal police arrested 31 suspects. Twelve of the outstanding suspects are currently detained in Quebec correctional facilities, according to police.

Ontario Provincial Police say between 2021 and 2023, there has been a 206 per cent increase in violent carjackings and home invasions. Since October 2023, 121 people have been arrested in connection to vehicle thefts, Kearns said.

In the past seven weeks, the OPP says almost 3,000 vehicles have been stolen across Ontario.

“Auto theft is impacting Ontarians at an unprecedented rate,” Kearns said on Friday.

“What is also concerning is the speed with which criminals are able to steal vehicles, often using methods to defeat existing anti-theft technology.”

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