Kamloops police crack nation-wide auto theft ring
Kamloops RCMP say they've helped crack one of the largest auto theft rings in Canada.
Thirty-two people have been arrested across the country after police launched raids on 47 homes and businesses.
Kamloops RCMP started the wheels rolling when they launched a modest crackdown on auto theft in their community but soon realized they'd stumbled over a much larger organization.
Sgt. Grant Learned says the investigation branched out across B.C., Alberta and Quebec.
"It grew very quickly and well beyond what the Kamloops investigators thought they would be dealing with when they started their local project."
The operation lasted two years and climaxed on Monday when more than 150 officers launched raids in cities and towns across the country. Police seized millions of dollars of stolen property, drugs and guns.
Learned says there's a lot more left to do to combat what he calls a $1 billion a year trade in stolen cars.
"What we have done is register a significant blow to this one group, but there are still many other groups that are still out there because there are markets for these stolen vehicles."
Thirty-two people have been charged so far far and all of them are being transported to Kamloops to appear in B.C. Provincial Court.