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Toronto police arrest 51 and recover $17 million with ‘Project Touchdown’

Police forces from across the GTA have arrested 51 people and recovered $17 million in stolen vehicles after a months-long investigation.

At 11 a.m. this morning, York Regional Police (YRP) held a press conference to reveal the results of the investigation dubbed  ‘Project Touchdown.’ Along with YRP, the investigation involved the Halton and Durham Regional Police as well as the Canadian Border Service Agency, the Canadian Pacific Police Service and the Canadian National Police Service.

In attendance at the Wednesday morning press conference were York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween along with Detective Sergeant Pat Smyth who relayed that over the last six months, more than 215 stolen vehicles had been recovered.

The press conference also revealed that more than a dozen handguns as well as an assault rifle and various drugs including fentanyl and cocaine had been seized. More than 150 charges had been laid.

Firearms and drugs seized as a part of ‘Project Touchdown’

Chief MacSween said that in the York Region over the last year, vehicle thefts had increased by more than 44 per cent.

According to police, the vehicles were allegedly being trafficked to international countries including Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Toronto Police Service have detailed important ways to reduce the risk of vehicle theft.
When parking your vehicle:
  • Turn ignition off and TAKE the keys with you
  • Park in a well-lighted, attended area if possible
  • Lock all valuables in your trunk
  • Completely close and lock doors and windows
  • Turn your wheels to the side to make it harder to tow

When at home:

  • If you have a garage, use it and lock it
  • If you have a rear-wheel drive car, back into driveway
  • If you have a front-wheel drive car, park front end first
  • Always set the emergency brake
  • Don’t leave the ownership or insurance cards in the vehicle when unattended
  • Drop business cards or address labels inside doors to assist with vehicle identification