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Nine stolen rental vehicles recovered, charges laid in fraud investigation

Used vehicles for sale are seen at an auto mall in Ottawa, on Monday, April 26, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang) Used vehicles for sale are seen at an auto mall in Ottawa, on Monday, April 26, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)
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Five people are facing more than 50 charges for allegedly stealing vehicles from rental companies and used car dealerships across southwestern Ontario.

Waterloo regional police said their Direct Action Response Team (DART) began investigating the thefts in March 2024.

The group allegedly used stolen identity documents to rent vehicles and then didn’t return them.

Investigators also tied them to a series of thefts from local used car dealerships. They said the people involved would take the vehicles for a test drive and wouldn’t bring them back.

Of the five people arrested, two are from Waterloo.

Combined, they’re facing more than 50 charges including: identity fraud, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of an identity document, fraud under $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and motor vehicle theft.

A total of nine stolen vehicles have been recovered.

Police say additional arrests and charges are anticipated.

They shared the following theft prevention tips for rental companies and dealerships:

  • Scrutinize identity documents presented to rent or test-drive vehicles and make a copy of the documents
  • Request two other pieces of identification in addition to a driver’s licence (i.e.: provincial health card, current utility bill, credit card)
  • Charge a security deposit to the driver’s credit card prior to the vehicle leaving the premises
  • Require the driver to provide a contact phone number, and call it before they leave the premises

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