London, Ontario – A rash of truck hijackings in Elgin County in southern Ontario has seen local OPP recover more than $1.6 million in stolen merchandise as part of an investigation that also turned up a trailer full of General Motors auto parts.
As part of a series of truck heists in the greater London area, which includes Elgin County and the towns of Aylmer and St. Thomas, county OPP discovered a total of six stolen truck trailers in the area containing a variety of high-value stolen merchandise, including about $800,000 worth of structural steel for bridge floor beams, GM parts and shipping racks.
So far, only one person has been charged in connection with trailer thefts in the area; a St. Thomas man, 41, with nine counts of theft valued at more than $5,000. He’s also charged with arson after Aylmer police responded to a semi-tractor fire on Feb. 1.
Elgin County OPP Const. Troy Carlson warns that this sort of crime is “a common occurrence” for the area, but declined to provide specific regional figures.
“More often than not, they’re probably aware of what’s in the trailer, whether it be electronics or other products that, obviously, can be easily sold and not easily identifiable,” he said.
Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat believes that all the thefts are linked.
“The target was very similar in nature, same type of equipment and same type of product on all these trailers,” he said.
Horvat continued, “In terms of where the product was going, we do not have that information. We haven’t made any links between that particular individual and any other potential suspects.”