Chop shop operation was family affair, police say
A Toronto man, his wife, and three kids were arrested in what police say was a family-run chop shop and car-theft operation in Etobicoke.
The arrests, made Tuesday, occurred after a six-month investigation conducted by York police, who said they found about $500,000 worth of stolen cars and car parts at Collision World Bodyshop, near Martin Grove Road and Highway 401.
The original vehicle identification numbers, or VINs, had been removed and replaced with new fake VINs, police said.
"They do this in four hours, it's ready to go," said York Regional Police Det. Sgt. Lou Malbeuf. "And now he's got knowledge on how to do the paperwork on it, make it legit."
Police said they began their investigation when they found some questionable paperwork for vehicles that had, supposedly, been brought to Canada from the United States.
When police tracked down those cars, they found many had been stolen and sold to unsuspecting buyers at Collision World.
One of the cars discovered at Collision World was a custom Mustang, which was stolen from Brampton just six days before, police said.
By the time police discovered the Mustang, they said it already had its VIN removed and was sold to a new, unsuspecting, buyer.
Police said one of the men involved has already been convicted of running a massive chop shop in the ‘90s, and is also the alleged kingpin in a $1.3-million grow-op found on the Collision World property two years ago.
With files from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry