Waterloo Regional Police say they have arrested men from Kitchener, Pickering and Newcastle who were allegedly part of a ring that was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of construction and farm equipment from across the GTA.
Police say they also seized $30,000 in cash and over $4 million worth of fraudulent cheques while making the arrests.
Const. Andre Johnson provided an overview of how the gang was operating.
“Essentially how this worked is that the accused parties would create or obtain a fraudulent bank draft with a fraudulent name on it,” he explained.
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“They present the seller with the fraudulent ID, having the same name that is on the bank draft. Generally, the victims did not realize it’s a fraud until two to three days later.”
He said the bandits made off with bobcats, excavators, skid steers and roofing equipment from businesses in Puslinch, Markham, Burgessville, Vaughn and Toronto, valued at more than $390,000.
Four of the five men have been arrested since March, with two of them being picked up near Queen and Lancaster streets in Kitchener.
The pair were allegedly found with $30,000 in Canadian currency and a rental vehicle, which were seized as crime-related property.
Police say there is a warrant out for the fifth man.
They say the five men, who were between the ages of 25 and 37, are facing more than 30 fraud and identity-related charges.