Police north of Toronto recover 161 stolen vehicles worth more than $10M
York Regional Police say vehicles were destined for Africa, Middle East
Police north of Toronto say they have recovered 161 stolen vehicles destined for various locations in Africa and the Middle East.
The vehicles were worth more than $10 million and took over a month to track down, York Regional Police said in a news release.
The recovery comes as York police say their force, along with other services across the GTA, have seen an increase in thefts of vehicles from residential driveways.
"This investigation is ongoing. York Regional Police and our partners remain vigilant in our efforts to locate and recover stolen vehicles and to identify the criminal groups behind the thefts," the release said.
Police say the majority of car thefts take place between midnight and 6 a.m. Once inside a vehicle, thieves are able to use an electronic device to program the car to accept a key they've brought with them, according to the release.
The process, which takes two to five minutes, allows thieves to start the car and drive it away, police say.
To prevent thefts, the department encourages people to park their vehicles in a locked garage, use a steering wheel lock and install a lock on the data port where thieves can plug in a device to re-program the car.
York police say they worked with the Canadian Pacific Police Service, Canada Border Services Agency and Equité Association — a not-for-profit organization that helps insurers fight fraud — to recover the vehicles.