OPP – Nearly 600 Stolen Vehicles Recovered as a Result of Project Vector

In Crime, Police Blotter

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have recovered 598 vehicles before they were illegally exported as part of Project Vector.

The CBSA regularly works with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and Équité Association to search sea containers suspected of containing stolen vehicles. Approximately 75 per cent of vehicles recovered from sea containers in Montréal are identified as stolen in Ontario.

PATT and CBSA collaborated with the SQ, SPVM and Équité Association to assist with vehicle recovery, while reducing the number of vehicles stolen in Ontario and illegally exported through the ports of entry. This initiative was supported by PATT’s joint forces operation partners, including police services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Since December 2023, Project Vector has resulted in:

·      390 shipping containers inspected

·      598 vehicles recovered, including 483 from Ontario and 115 from Québec

The recovered vehicles identified as stolen in Ontario have a potential value of approximately $34.5 million.

A breakdown of vehicles reported stolen to Ontario police services that were recovered as part of Project Vector:

·      215 – Toronto Police Service

·      125 – Peel Regional Police

·      58 – York Regional Police

·      19 – Halton Regional Police Service

·      15 – Durham Regional Police Service

·      13 – Ontario Provincial Police

·      12 – Ottawa Police Service

·      7 – Hamilton Regional Police Service

·      6 – Niagara Regional Police Service

·      5 – Waterloo Regional Police Service

·      2 – Woodstock Police Service

·      2 – Barrie Police Service

·      2 – South Simcoe Police Service

·      1 – London Police Service

·      1 – Guelph Police Service

The recovered vehicles have been connected to various types of vehicle crimes, including carjackings and home invasions.

Investigations into these stolen vehicles remain ongoing. Police services of jurisdiction are responsible for continuing their investigations surrounding these recovered vehicles, as well as any ensuing arrests.

Additional information including a video and a project poster is located within the Project Vector media kit.

Anyone with any information about auto theft is urged to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

QUOTE

“Project Vector has disrupted the criminal networks that take advantage of the Canadian export market to sell stolen vehicles. These vehicles were destined to be exported overseas, to markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America. PATT will continue to assist police and justice partners in identifying, disrupting and dismantling organized crime networks involved in vehicle crimes.” – Deputy Commissioner Marty Kearns, OPP

“Auto theft is a growing challenge in Ontario, Québec and across the country. The Canada Border Services Agency provides critical support to law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute these crimes. The leadership of policing partners and their upfront, preventative and investigative work – within Canada and ahead of reaching our borders – is imperative to reduce auto theft. The work done by our border services officers is making a real difference in securing the supply chain and disrupting criminal activity at our borders.” – Annie Beauséjour, Regional Director General, Quebec Region, Canada Border Services Agency

“Project Vector illustrates the strength of the partnership between all the actors involved in the fight against vehicle theft. Our ability to intervene on all fronts and adapt to new criminal networks strategies is demonstrated by our daily actions to disrupt their activities. Collaboration between law enforcement, justice system partners and the private sector, such as Équité Association, is essential to our efforts to maintain public safety, and we value the important role each partner plays in achieving this mission.” – Benoit Dubé, Deputy Director General, Criminal Investigations, Sûreté du Québec

“Collaboration between our organizations is not new, but it has intensified in recent months, as we work together to tackle the scourge of auto theft. Every day, our teams of patrol officers and investigators make arrests, seize vehicles and conduct investigations to dismantle networks. It’s this day-to-day work, with the support of all our partners, that produces concrete results like those presented today. Let the criminals rest assured: together, we’ll keep up the pressure.” – Inspector Dominique Côté, SPVM

“Project Vector is the culmination of a multi-jurisdictional operation and a prime example of how public and private partnerships can work together to combat auto theft. Équité Association was proud to participate in this operation by providing expertise in the identification of stolen vehicles. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the OPP, CBSA, SPVM, Sûreté du Québec and our other law enforcement partners across the country as we work together to disrupt organized crime and stop the flow of stolen vehicles out of our country.” – Bryan Gast, Vice President of Investigative Services, Équité Association 

ABOUT PATT

In 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) established a dedicated Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team, formerly titled Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team (OCTATT). PATT is a joint forces operation that is assisting police and justice partners in identifying, disrupting and dismantling organized crime networks involved in vehicle crimes.

·      Brantford Police Service

·      Durham Regional Police Service

·      Halton Regional Police Service

·      London Police Service

·      Niagara Regional Police Service

·      Ottawa Police Service

·      Peel Regional Police

·      Sûreté du Québec

·      Toronto Police Service

·      York Regional Police

PATT’s valued partners include but are not limited to:

·      RCMP

·      Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario

·      Service de police de la Ville de Montréal

·      Canada Border Services Agency

·      CN Police

·      CP Police

·      Équité Association

·      Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)

PATT members work with international agencies such as INTERPOL, authorities and community stakeholders at ports of entry.

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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