A criminal ring of car thieves have been thriving in Ottawa over the last few months, reportedly stealing over 50 vehicles and that number seems to be counting. Ottawa’s police service has been following this gang recently, making 4 arrests already. On August 31, police officers watched in disbelief as two suspects, whom have not being named, tried stealing a high-end Lexus from a house in New Edinburgh. The two suspects were immediately arrested, along with two more that were waiting for the thieves nearby. These arrests barely even scrape the surface as the majority of this ring is reportedly still at large. The arrests do however, highlight the issue of stolen luxury vehicles, which has been rising at alarming rates in Ottawa this year.
“Almost exclusively, it’s been the bigger Lexus SUVs and Toyota’s Four Runner, and Highlander. That is because the demand is in other countries where they can’t be purchased,” said Sgt. Catherine Brown with the Ottawa Police organized crime unit. “It’s an organized group.” Some of these vehicles are worth more than $50,000. The accused thieves broke into the cars using force, reprogrammed the console to accept a new key, then they were able to simply drive away while the real owner was fast asleep.
Police have warned Ottawa residents that the thieves may return again. Therefore, people need to start taking precautions. “They go to Toronto for about six months … they take turns (moving around),” Brown said.
Photo credit: stittsvillecentral.ca