OPP – Over 30 People Arrested Regarding Auto Thefts

In Crime, Editor Choice, Police Blotter

Thirty-four individuals residing in Montréal and the surrounding area have been arrested following a joint forces operation between the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). The arrested individuals were wanted in relation to auto theft incidents that occurred in Ontario between March 2019 to September 2023.

The investigation, named Project Volcano, began in January 2024 after the OPP’s Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau (POIB) identified individuals residing in the Province of Québec. The accused failed to appear for scheduled court dates in relation to auto theft charges in Ontario, and/or violated the conditions of their release.

Many of the wanted persons are also accused of additional offences under the Criminal Code, Cannabis Act, Highway Traffic Act and Youth Criminal Justice Act. Several individuals face serious charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from peace officer, possession of a loaded firearm and possession of illicit drugs.

In some instances, stolen vehicles were operated by young people who did not possess a driver’s licence. On more than one occasion, a stolen vehicle was involved in a serious motor vehicle collision.

From March 19 to 21, 2024, 34 wanted persons were arrested in relation to crimes committed in Ontario. This includes four accused who were under 18 years of age at the time of their arrest and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

This operation was conducted by the OPP Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau (POIB) and SPVM, in conjunction with the OPP East Region and the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau’s Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team, formerly titled the Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team (OCTATT).

The investigation was also supported by members of the Cornwall Police Service and the Sûreté du Québec.

During this operation, the OPP found that eight accused were arrested prior to takedown, four warrants were rescinded and twelve of the outstanding suspects are presently detained in correctional facilities. The OPP plans to arrest those serving custodial sentences upon their release dates from these institutions.

Members of Project Volcano are facilitating the return of four accused to the Cornwall Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service and Ottawa Police Service.

Please refer to SPVM for information regarding additional charges and evidence seized.

Project Volcano remains ongoing. Anyone with any information about auto theft or about the whereabouts of wanted individuals is urged to call their local police service. If that is the OPP, call 1-888-310-1122. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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