Ontario cargo crime bust recovers $9.2 million in property

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by Emily Atkins

A bust in Ontario’s Peel Region saw the recovery of $6,990,000 of stolen cargo and $2,250,000 in value of stolen tractor trailers.

Police forces from across the Greater Toronto Area started investigating a series of tractor trailer and cargo thefts in Peel and across the GTA in March 2023.

In addition to the recovered vehicles and goods, the investigation, called Project Big Rig, resulted in the arrest of 15 suspects.

“Cargo and auto theft is not a victimless crime. It hurts people, inflicts financial harm and often leads to the funding of other criminal activity,” said Peel Region Police (PRP) deputy chief Nick Milinovich.

“Project Big Rig is an example of our efforts to hold the individuals accountable who victimize our communities and residents. Let this be a reminder to all the criminal networks that we will continue to disrupt criminality of any kind.”

The investigation also led to awareness for a number of unsuspecting customers who were buying stolen products.

Project Big Rig was made possible through the funding provided by the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario (CISO), and in collaboration with Halton Regional Police, Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Équité Association and the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC.)

An estimated $1.8 billion worth of goods travel through the Region of Peel every day, making it the largest cargo hub in Canada.