The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has recovered two dozen stolen vehicles valued at over $2 million before they were shipped to Dubai.
The vehicles were intercepted while they were in transit through Morocco, according to HRPS. The cars have since been returned to Canada.
Police say they began this investigation locally and overseas in partnership with the Canada Border Service Agency and Peel Regional Police this February.
One of the recovered vehicles is a Rolls-Royce valued at approximately $500,000. This the largest seizure of stolen Canadian vehicles in Morocco, police say.
"These vehicles are primarily ‘reprogrammed’ thefts wherein the suspects enter the vehicle and reprogram the ignition computers, which allow them to be driven away using a new key," the Halton Police said in a news release. "The vehicles are then either driven to the Port of Montreal or loaded into shipping containers in Toronto and transported to Montreal by rail."
The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have been made so far.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Regional Auto Theft Task Force at 905-825-4777, ext. 3407.
To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or submit an online tip at haltoncrimestoppers.ca.
"The HRPS is applying significant resources to investigate auto theft occurrences; however, crime prevention is a shared responsibility," reads the HRPS release. "Please call 911 if you witness a crime in progress or if you see suspicious persons/vehicles in your neighbourhood."
Below are some tips provided by police that can help prevent vehicle theft:
- Park your vehicle in a locked garage
- Block the exit of a potential target vehicle with a second vehicle parked behind it
- Install an on-board diagnostic blocker/protector
- Install a steering wheel lock device
- Install an aftermarket GPS tracking device
- Install home security cameras on the exterior of the residence.