Canadian police announce the recovery of stolen cars worth $33 million

zahraa ahmed - | World News

The Canadian police announced that it was able to arrest 16 suspects and issued arrest warrants for 10 other individuals, as part of the “Odyssey” project that the police launched at the end of last year, to recover hundreds of stolen cars that were destined for foreign markets.

Odyssey Project

The investigation, called “Project Odyssey,” began in October 2023 and involved hundreds of stolen vehicles destined for foreign markets, Peel police said during a news conference Monday morning.

14 of them were released under some type of conditional release

The police claimed that of the 26 people wanted as part of the investigation, 14 of them had been released on some type of conditional release or bail for “crimes related to car theft.” Police also stated that 322 charges have been laid so far.

Recovering a BMW X6 worth $110,000

O'Connor claimed they recovered a BMW X6 worth $110,000 and a Ford F150 worth $86,000.

The family-owned small trucking company turned out to be "responsible for facilitating and loading the car transportation," O'Connor said.

Transporting stolen vehicles through multiple local hubs

"These individuals were assisting in transporting stolen vehicles via local intermodal hubs within the Greater Toronto Area and across the (Highway) 401 corridor to the Port of Montreal," O'Connor stated.

Police said some cars were stolen during the brutal carjackings.

They were released and returned to their areas of residence

"You heard today that with regard to car theft charges, more than half of the people detained in this operation were already on some stage of pre-release. Of the people we arrested, charged and held on bail, all of them have already been released on bail." They were released and returned to their areas of residence.

“We continue to see a steady stream of cars heading toward our ports.”

About 3,000 stolen cars were recovered

Last year alone, Peel Region recovered about 3,000 stolen vehicles, he said.

He added, "We will continue this trend; now, we are charging and arresting more individuals than ever before. We are recovering record numbers of vehicle thieves."

"This is being done in response to a clearly expressed community concern. We hear our city. 'Bell is not the place to come and steal cars.'" We will continue to do this until the people involved in it understand a very basic message.

26 people linked to the investigation

Sixteen people were arrested and charged with 322 motor vehicle offences. However, investigators found 26 people connected to the investigation. Ten defendants are awaiting arrest warrants.

More than half of the perpetrators, according to Peel Region Police Chief Nishan Dryappa, were already on parole or bail for crimes related to car theft.

A highly organized criminal operation

“This is a highly organized criminal operation, where several individuals were responsible for stealing vehicles using many of the ones we have identified, many of which include violent car theft gangs as well as other methods of stealing vehicles for the purpose of shipping abroad,” said Daryaba.

Sixteen people were arrested overall, and investigators wrote arrest warrants for ten others. Under Canadian criminal law, the 16 people arrested are charged with a combined 322 crimes.

Committing 322 crimes combined

The other defendants live in Peel Region, Toronto, and Quebec, and range in age from sixteen to 57 years old.

Having previously been arrested in other car theft rings, officials claimed that 14 of the 26 individuals under investigation were either on bail or had been released from the courts. Milinovich claimed of those detained under Project Odyssey that they had all been released.

Stricter court and sentencing policies

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown referred to the investigation as a "wake-up call" for stricter court and sentencing policies. He added that since cars are being marketed around the world, intermodal transportation hubs and the Port of Montreal must be "part of the solution."

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zahraa ahmed
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