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369 stolen vehicles from Ontario worth $33M recovered, many at Port of Montreal

Peel Regional Police say hundreds of vehicles worth $33.2 million have been recovered in a major auto theft investigation — with 37 containers worth of cars found at the Port of Montreal.

Det. Greg O’Connor told reporters on Monday that in October 2023 police began a large-scale investigation called Project Odyssey after receiving information about stolen vehicles within a shipping area in Brampton, Ont.

Officers first recovered two stolen vehicles there, O’Connor said. In December 2023, he said police were informed about a transport truck loaded with stolen vehicles in Mississauga. Police were able to intercept that truck in Brampton and the driver was arrested.

A BMW X6 valued at $110,000 and a 2023 Ford F150 valued at $86,000 were recovered, O’Connor said.

O’Connor alleges a local trucking company run by a family was identified as being “responsible for facilitating and loading the transportation of motor vehicles.”

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“These individuals were facilitating the shipment of stolen vehicles through local intermodal hubs within the Greater Toronto Area and travelling the (Highway) 401 corridor to the Port of Montreal,” O’Connor said.

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“The vehicles were intended to be exported to the ports in the United Arab Emirates and the Port of Oman.”

Results of Project Odyssey. Peel Regional Police

O’Connor says police believe the trucking company owners, workers and operators were “fully aware and complicit” in the shipping of stolen vehicles.

Investigators then travelled to the Port of Montreal, where 37 containers were opened with the help of the Port Authority and Canada Border Services Agency.

Police said 114 stolen vehicles were recovered at the Port of Montreal as well as three transport trucks and two stolen Bobcats.

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Another 255 stolen vehicles were recovered throughout Peel Region, police said.

In total, through Project Odyssey, O’Connor said 369 vehicles worth $33.2 million were recovered before they were “destined out of the country.”

Sixteen people have been arrested and charged with 322 auto-related offences. However, police have identified 26 suspects in connection to the investigation. There are 10 outstanding suspects on arrest warrants.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said more than half of the accused were already on a former release, or bail, for auto theft-related offences.

“This is a highly-orchestrated criminal operation where several individuals were responsible for stealing the vehicles through various methods, many of which we have come to know, that include violent carjacking rings as well as other methods of stealing vehicles for the intention of shipping overseas,” Duraiappah said.

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