Over 200 charges laid in ongoing Hamilton, Niagara Region probe into stolen vehicle theft ring: police

Hamilton Police say 28 people have been arrested in connection with a local theft ring. Don Mitchell / Global News

In its first month, an ongoing police operation around Hamilton and Niagara Region has resulted in 28 arrests, recovered stolen vehicles, and obtained large amounts of illicit street drugs.

In an update, Hamilton Police say a partnership with Équité Association, a group that takes on insurance crime, and with Niagara Regional Police launched in May, has so far recovered 19 stolen vehicles valued at about $600,000, $1.6 million in street drugs, and a pair of firearms.

Detectives say cocaine, fentanyl, MDMA, methamphetamine, oxycodone and the mind-altering compound psilocybin were some of the street drugs seized.

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In all, over 200 charges were laid against the 28 accused.

Police say the vehicles were likely destined for local or international resale.

Read more: Halton police recover $2.2M in pickups and SUVs amid GTA theft ring bust

Equite estimates that auto thefts cost Canadians close to $1 billion yearly, including $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care and court system costs, and millions more for correctional services.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information on the theft ring can reach out to Hamilton Police or anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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