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Ron Taverner of the Toronto Police Service presented the findings of the operation. (Archive photo)
Toronto police have recovered more than 1,000 cars stolen from city residents, Superintendent Ron Taverner announced Wednesday at the conclusion of Operation Stallion.
This operation, which took place between November 2022 and September 2023, led to the recovery of 1,080 vehicles with a combined value of more than $59 million, according to Mr. Taverner.
He said at a press conference that a total of 553 charges have been filed against 228 people, at least 20 of whom are under the age of 18.
These results show how seriously we take this problem, Taverner said. But we recognize that for many people in the city, their vehicles may never be found, and more importantly, their sense of security has been compromised.
The city continues to face an increase in vehicle thefts. So far in 2023, 9,747 vehicles have been stolen in Toronto.
Last week, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Service Toronto police announced that a joint task force had been formed to target acts of carjacking. There have been about 300 incidents of this type of hacking in the GTA this year, according to police.
Younger and younger people are the perpetrators of many of these thefts, Mr. Taverner said. He added that police are trying to focus on the organized crime behind these crimes.
It's a business lucrative for these people. [The cars] are resold, are shipped overseas. […] There are all sorts of things going on, Mr. Taverner said, noting that of the cars recovered, about 95 per cent were found in Canada, and many of them were in being shipped to the port of Montreal.
Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw said the project represents only one of several strategic and intelligence-driven initiatives the service has launched to tackle the problem of auto theft in the Greater Toronto Area.
With information from CBC News