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Coal for Christmas: Toronto police arrest two in Project Clone auto theft investigation

Toronto, Ontario — The Toronto Police Service wrapped up Project Clone earlier in December, a police auto theft investigation that resulted in two arrests at a garage in the Toronto/Brampton area.

The investigation was launched in July to identify gang members involved in car theft, according to Toronto police.

On Dec. 5, police acted on a search warrant for the garage where they seized a loaded 9mm Springfield Armory Hellcat handgun, with a three-inch prohibited barrel and a 13-round overcapacity magazine, as well as a number of key fobs from various automakers, reprogramming tools for those fobs, fake license plates and lockpicks.

“The quality of technology, and the amount seized, speaks to the level of sophistication and technical skill employed by thieves during the commission of motor vehicle thefts within the city. With tools such as this and the knowledge that thieves possess, vehicles can easily be stolen in under 30 seconds,” said Det. Daniel Kraehling.

A 25-year-old individual from Toronto was charged with possession of property obtained by crime, two counts of possess break-in instruments, 10 counts of theft of motor vehicle, and 10 counts of fail to comply with release order.

A 30-year-old individual from Brampton was charged with seven counts of operation while prohibited and theft of motor vehicle.

Police recommend parking indoors in a well-lit area, installing motion detector lights and surveillance cameras, installing an after-market ‘kill-switch’ or utilizing a steering wheel lock and tire lock, installing an after-market GPS tracking device and installing an OBDII port lock.

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