York and Toronto police have made a “large” recovery of more than 70 stolen cars worth more $4.5 million in a joint investigation with the Canada Border Services Agency.
Seventy-three vehicles have been found from across the GTA due to the work of the York Regional Police, Toronto Police and Canada Border Services Agency.
“Auto theft is of huge concern to police,” Toronto Police Supt. Ron Taverner told the Toronto Sun.
“And we’re actively involved in investigations and targeting groups that are involved in these particular crimes. They’re organized crime groups and they’re going out and stealing these vehicles and, in a lot of cases, they’re being put in containers and shipped off to other countries. And we’re finding more and more of this is taking place. Money drives a lot of these crimes.”
The investigation began in September when authorities became aware of a gang of thieves allegedly targeting Lexus, Toyota and Honda cars and operating out of a location on Kitimat Rd. in Mississauga, according to police.
Investigators have also allegedly linked this ring to another 32 stolen cars that are believed to have been shipped overseas to either Ghana or Nigeria.
“Our investigators have been working tirelessly to identify those responsible for the many thefts of high-end vehicles in York Region,” said York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween.
Abu Sadiq Ayi, 41; Michael Atta, 32; Prince Boateng, 42; and David Ansong 40 — all of Toronto — face many charges including theft of a motor vehicle.
Taverner said there has been an increased number of vehicle thefts in Toronto from residential driveways.