Police forces recover nearly 600 stolen vehicles at Montreal Port, few at Burlington shipping location

Stolen Car. Image credit: X/@dougpete

Toronto/CMEDIA: An announcement was made Apr 3 by representatives with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) as well as Ontario and Quebec police forces in Montreal that their operation led to the recovery of almost 600 stolen vehicles in Montreal.

As part of Project Vector, 598 vehicles located were designated for illegal exportation to markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America, said the officials.

“Approximately 75 percent of vehicles recovered from sea containers in Montreal are identified as stolen in Ontario,” the CBSA has said. “The recovered vehicles identified as stolen in Ontario have a potential value of approximately $34.5 million.”

Since December 2023, 390 shipping containers have been inspected by Project Vector, the CBSA has said 

These results followed when the federal government gave the CBSA more capacity by promising $28 million in February to detect and search containers that may have stolen vehicles to help fight the export of stolen vehicles.

Around 90,000 cars are stolen each year in Canada, sayd the federal government.

In 2023, more than 11,000 vehicles were reported stolen in Montreal compared to 9,000 in 2022, Montreal police (SPVM) estimates said.

In Toronto, 48 stolen vehicles were seized by the Toronto police as part of an undercover auto theft investigation dubbed Project Paranoid.

Some of the vehicles, along with six recovered firearms and several programmed and unprogrammed key fobs were displayed by the investigators at a news conference last week.

During a separate undercover drug and gun trafficking investigation in April 2023, Project Spectre’s gathered information led Toronto police to launch a second investigation in August that year focused on stolen vehicles..

“Project Paranoid demonstrates the resources that the Toronto Police Service is dedicating to tackling the auto theft epidemic and the positive results of this work,” Toronto police Staff Supt. Pauline Gray told reporters. 

“It also demonstrates the importance of collaboration among stakeholders to address an issue that is impacting the well-being of all of our communities.”

20 of the recovered vehicles, said Toronto Police were seized at a shipping location in Burlington, while another 20 were intercepted with the help of border agents in Toronto and Montreal.