Watch above: (Aug. 28) Police announce the seizure of $2.3 million in high-end cars in international car theft bust
TORONTO – Police displayed some of the $5 million in stolen items they allege a sophisticated group of nine people stole from affluent areas around Toronto.
The nine people, arrested Thursday and Friday, face nearly 150 charges. Six of the nine people charged have been arrested before, police said.
“This group has been active in the past, they have been arrested and put before the courts and this group has appeared to have continued on in this, as you can tell, lucrative business,” Supt. Scott Gilbert said.
And it was a lucrative business: at one home the alleged career criminals took nearly $800,000 worth of property. Police announced on Thursday they recovered nearly $2.3 million in vehicles.
Some of the items police showed off Friday include a 150-year-old bible, a bottle of Dom Perignon, designer purses, cameras, iPads, cigars, jewellery and guns.
The total value of items recovered so far exceeds $5 million police said. But, they are positive there are more stolen goods out there.
The investigation, dubbed Project Yellowbird, started with a break-and-enter in north Toronto during the ice storm in December.
The suspects would allegedly fit in with the neighbourhood by driving high-end cars that wouldn’t look out of place, police said.
Police said the suspects would break-in to a home to steal the key fob and other items before stealing the cars.
But they weren’t violent, police said. In one instance, the suspects allegedly broke into a home, stole the key fobs for two cars and waited outside for the homeowners to get home before taking the cars.