A four-month investigation, dubbed Project Baijin, has resulted in multiple arrests and the seizure of 28 high-end vehicles, Peel police said Wednesday.
Chief Chris McCord said the “complex investigation” was led by Peel police’s commercial auto crime bureau, and involved investigators from Halton Regional Police, York Regional Police and Canada Border Services Agency.
“Investigators have seized approximately $2.2 million worth of stolen vehicles along with key programers, wireless electronic devices, licence plates and fraudulent documentation,” McCord said at a news conference.
“Peel Regional Police began this investigation in April 2019, when members of our commercial auto crime bureau recovered over $620,000 worth of high-end stolen vehicles, which were being stored in an industrial unit in the area of Kestrel Road and Myerside Drive in Mississauga.”
The stolen vehicles include:
- A 2015 Jeep Wrangler.
- A 2016 Mercedes GLE350.
- A 2018 Mercedes C300.
- A 2018 Audi A7.
- A 2018 Dodge Ram.
- A 2019 Range Rover.
McCord said the vehicles — many of which had been stolen in other jurisdictions — were being prepped to be shipped overseas in containers to China and Europe.
Det.-Sgt. Donald Jorgensen said the arrests were made Tuesday when investigators executedsearch warrants.
“There are five males currently in custody facing charges related to identity fraud, identity theft, possession of stolen property, as well as trafficking stolen property,” Jorgensen said.
The men, who range in age from 23 and 42, are from Markham, Burlington and Mississauga.
Police said they were all held for a bail hearing and appeared in court in Brampton on Wednesday.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who also spoke at the news conference, said the issue was “a real challenge in our community,” and he thanked the team for its investigative work.
“This has been a lengthy investigation, but when you hear the numbers, in some cases 20 cars stolen a week, it shocks you,” he said.
“The fact that the police were so diligent in going after this investigation, using the techniques they have, is a big relief for Peel Region, a big relief for the City of Brampton.”