More than 200 vehicles worth a combined value of about $17.4 million have been recovered in a six-month investigation dubbed ‘Project Touchdown.’
Fifty-one people belonging to organized vehicle theft groups that were trafficking vehicles to international destinations and more than 150 charges were laid, York Regional Police (YRP) reports.
Police also seized firearms, including 15 handguns, one assault-style rifle, magazines and ammunition, along with quantities of drugs, including fentanyl, MDMA, cocaine and Oxycodone.
Project Touchdown is a joint-forces investigation involving Peel, Durham and Halton Regional Police Services, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Équité Association, with assistance from the CP and CN Police. Funding from the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario supported the six-month project.
YRP encourages vehicle owners to park their vehicles in a locked garage if possible and to use a steeling wheel lock, which will also serve as a visible deterrent. Install a lock on your vehicle’s data port. The simple device can be purchased online and blocks access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys.
Finally, consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system and ensure cameras are placed properly and function for both day and night use. Familiarize yourself with the system so it can be reviewed and accessed immediately if necessary. A video of a recent vehicle theft can be found here.
To learn more, call the YRP Auto/Cargo Theft Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6651 or Corporate Communications at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 2664. If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, contact the CBSA Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060.
Project Touchdown intercepted and recovered 215 vehicles, most of which were stolen from driveways. Photo courtesy of York Regional Police.