Sunday, 26 June 2016

Update: An Important Warning for Acura MDX Owners. Man arrested, facing 103 charges.

Please note, the Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with a major vehicle-theft ring targeting luxury SUVs in the Greater Toronto Area.

As you may recall, a warning was issued last summer about thieves stealing vehicles from residential streets and driveways using reprogrammed key fobs.

On December 10, 2015, in co-operation with other agencies, Police executed multiple search warrants, resulting in 18 arrests, 640 charges and the recovery of 200 stolen vehicles (worth $11 million). It is estimated that 500 stolen vehicles (worth $30 million, representing 10% of vehicles stolen in Toronto) were shipped to Africa last year and sold for half their market value.

On June 21, 2016, Police arrested and charged a Toronto resident with 103 criminal charges.
The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of an ongoing investigation.

Project CBG was an investigation into the theft of high-end vehicles within the Greater Toronto Area. The targeted models were the Acura MDX, Lexus and Toyota SUV.

See excerpt from previous news release (December 11, 2015):

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It is alleged that:
  • the targeted vehicles were reprogrammed and driven away
  • a criminal enterprise, consisting of shippers, freight forwarders, down to the thieves, was responsible for a large number of the thefts
  • some of the vehicles were shipped to Tin Can Island, Nigeria, and sold without proper documentation
  • others vehicles were "re-VINned" (given a fraudulent Vehicle Identification Number), registered and used by members of the criminal enterprise, or sold to unsuspecting buyers

The investigation, with the assistance of York Regional Police Service, Peel Regional Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Regina Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Nation Police Service, Canada Border Service Agency, Insurance Bureau of Canada, and the Department of Homeland Security, culminated in 36 search warrants executed on Thursday, December 10, 2015, on homes, businesses, and vehicles in the Greater Toronto Area.

It is alleged that the following was seized:
  • approximately 200 vehicles have been recovered (179 in shipping containers), with an estimated value of $11 million
  • a criminal enterprise, consisting of shippers, freight forwarders, down to the thieves, was responsible for a large number of the thefts
  • 10 suspected stolen vehicles, motors and parts
  • two tractor-trailers
  • keys
  • computers and electronic accessories
  • three long guns and magazines
  • heroin and cocaine

Watch Police Briefing »

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On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the Toronto Police Service Major Crime Task Force arrested Nicholas Harry, 32, of Toronto.

He is charged with:
  1. Commission of Offence for Criminal Organization – Motor Vehicle Theft
  2. Commission of Offence for Criminal Organization – Possession of Property Obtained by Crime for the Purpose of Trafficking
  3. 38 counts of Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
  4. 57 counts of Utter Forged Document
  5. 4 counts of Breach of Probation
  6. 2 counts of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Over ($5000)

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police at 416-808-7350 or holdupsquad@torontopolice.on.ca, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

View Police Report »

If you have seen or heard anything suspicious, please contact the Police.
If you see a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Original Report
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An important warning for owners of late-model Acura MDX vehicles. 

According to the Police at 22 Division, there has been a significant increase in the number of stolen Acura MDX vehicles across Toronto in the past several months. These thefts are related to organized crime and thieves (suspected to be of Eastern European descent) are using a device which enables them to re-program key fobs to quietly unlock and disarm the alarms in these vehicles. In most cases the vehicles are then shipped overseas within days of being stolen, making them nearly impossible to recover.

If you are the owner of an Acura MDX (especially 2014/15 models) or know someone who is, Police strongly recommend that you to keep a close eye on your vehicle and if possible, lock it away and out of sight when not in use.

According to recent crime statistics from 22 Division, other vehicles described to be at a higher risk of being stolen include those made by Volkswagen (Jetta, Tiguan), Honda (Civic), and Lexus (RX).

For more information and tips of reducing the risk of car theft, please visit: torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention/autotheft.php

We will post more information on this matter as it becomes available.

If you have seen or heard anything suspicious, please contact the Police.
If you see a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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