Almost 600 vehicles recovered as a result of Project Vector

MONTRÉAL, QC – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have recovered 598 vehicles before they were illegally exported as part of Project Vector.

The CBSA regularly works with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and Équité Association to search sea containers suspected of containing stolen vehicles. Approximately 75 per cent of vehicles recovered from sea containers in Montréal are identified as stolen in Ontario.

PATT and CBSA collaborated with the SQ, SPVM and Équité Association to assist with vehicle recovery, while reducing the number of vehicles stolen in Ontario and illegally exported through the ports of entry. This initiative was supported by PATT’s joint forces operation partners, including police services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Since December 2023, Project Vector has resulted in: 390 shipping containers inspected and 598 vehicles recovered, including 483 from Ontario and 115 from Québec.

“Auto theft is a growing challenge in Ontario, Québec and across the country. The Canada Border Services Agency provides critical support to law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute these crimes. The leadership of policing partners and their upfront, preventative and investigative work – within Canada and ahead of reaching our borders – is imperative to reduce auto theft. The work done by our border services officers is making a real difference in securing the supply chain and disrupting criminal activity at our borders,” said Annie Beauséjour, Regional Director General, Quebec Region, Canada Border Services Agency.

The recovered vehicles identified as stolen in Ontario have a potential value of approximately $34.5 million.

“Project Vector has disrupted the criminal networks that take advantage of the Canadian export market to sell stolen vehicles. These vehicles were destined to be exported overseas, to markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America. PATT will continue to assist police and justice partners in identifying, disrupting and dismantling organized crime networks involved in vehicle crimes,” said Deputy Commissioner Marty Kearns, OPP.

A breakdown of vehicles reported stolen to Ontario police services that were recovered as part of Project Vector:

  • 215 – Toronto Police Service
  • 125 – Peel Regional Police
  • 58 – York Regional Police
  • 19 – Halton Regional Police Service
  • 15 – Durham Regional Police Service
  • 13 – Ontario Provincial Police
  • 12 – Ottawa Police Service
  • 7 – Hamilton Regional Police Service
  • 6 – Niagara Regional Police Service
  • 5 – Waterloo Regional Police Service
  • 2 – Woodstock Police Service
  • 2 – Barrie Police Service
  • 2 – South Simcoe Police Service
  • 1 – London Police Service
  • 1 – Guelph Police Service

The recovered vehicles have been connected to various types of vehicle crimes, including carjackings and home invasions.

Investigations into these stolen vehicles remain ongoing. Police services of jurisdiction are responsible for continuing their investigations surrounding these recovered vehicles, as well as any ensuing arrests.

Anyone with any information about auto theft is urged to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

ABOUT PATT

In 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) established a dedicated Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team, formerly titled Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team (OCTATT). PATT is a joint forces operation that is assisting police and justice partners in identifying, disrupting and dismantling organized crime networks involved in vehicle crimes.