Over 300 Charges Filed During ‘Project High 5’

More than 300 separate charges have been filed against two dozen people for grand theft auto. The “Project High 5” investigation broke up a sophisticated and “prolific auto theft ring” operating from the Greater Toronto Area.

321 charges filed

A total of 24 suspects are facing 321 separate charges, according to police in Peel, Ontario. They note in a press release on Thursday, January 27, that Project High 5 “spanned multiple jurisdictions over a six-month period.”

The whole thing got started when authorities “documented an increase in motor vehicles being stolen from residents within the Region of Peel and the Greater Toronto Area.” How appropriate, GTA in the GTA.

These bandits racked up all those charges using a lot more than makeshift Slim Jim’s and a screwdriver to cruise their target vehicles away.

As cars get more advanced security, thieves come up with better technology. “Police allege suspects forced open a driver’s door, obtained access to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port, and then used that device to program a new key fob.”

Charges wouldn’t have been filed if it wasn’t for alert and vigilant citizens who gave police the evidence they needed to get started. “These were not the result of relay thefts and were captured by victims and neighboring residences on home security.” Big Brother just loves those doorbell cameras.

Targeted while they slept

The owners of the targeted vehicles, as detailed in the charges, all “lived in residential neighborhoods and were targeted while they slept.”

As they peacefully dreamed away the night, their rides were “loaded into shipping containers.” Each was destined for “export to the United States and multiple West African and Middle Eastern Countries.” It was a huge racket.

Once they had a starting point, detectives soon “identified vehicles that had been fraudulently registered in Ontario,” then subsequently sold to “unsuspecting automotive dealerships, online dealer platforms and unassuming buyers.”

As soon as the charges were lined up, law enforcement moved in.

On January 19, “officers executed search warrants at nine residential areas across the regions of Peel, Halton and York.” In the process, “police recovered 217 vehicles valued at about $11.1 million. They also seized a loaded .45 caliber hand gun with a prohibited extended magazine, more than $100,000 in Canadian currency, an unspecified amount of drugs, automobile forgery documents and instruments, and fraudulent government documents.”

That’s why twenty-four people are currently in custody, facing “a combined 321 charges.” Two suspects are juveniles and the majority of them are “residents of the Greater Toronto Area.” The exceptions are five from Montreal, one from Uxbridge and one from Whitby.

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