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Police break up sophisticated auto theft ring

Police break up sophisticated auto theft ring

Four men are behind bars following a joint police operation that recovered 20 stolen vehicles worth $1.5 Million. Investigators from the Halton Regional Police Service – and Toronto Police Major Crime teamed up in a month long  investigation dubbed “Project Raptor” resulting in the recovery of 20 stolen vehicles and the arrest of four men.

Police say the suspects would gain entry to the vehicle through force allowing them access to the vehicle’s ‘On Board Diagnostic Port’ (OBD).  From there, the suspects utilized key programming devices to program a new key fob.  The thefts occurred across Halton, Peel and Toronto.  The vehicles targeted were newer model Jeeps and Ford F-150s.   It is believed that these vehicles were slated to be loaded into shipping containers to export them overseas to Middle Eastern countries.

On March 29, 2022 investigators arrested four persons involved in this auto theft ring and subsequently executed two residential search warrants.  Investigators seized several key fobs and electronic devices used to access the on-board diagnostics.


Facing a string of theft charges are Bawa Singh, (22) of Brampton, Nitin Gagneja, (21) of Brampton, Abu-Bakar Sheikh, (22) of Brampton, abd Attiq Ur Rehman, (22) of Mississauga, Sheikh and Rehman also face charges of breach of recognizance.

All accused were held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective Phil Vandenbeukel of the 1 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 3407.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

Police would like to remind residents of the following tips to help protect against these types of thefts:

Park your vehicle in a locked/secure garage, if possible.

Lock the onboard diagnostic port using a simple device (that can be purchased online) that blocks access to the location where thieves reprogram the vehicle’s key fob

Use a steering wheel locking device to deter theft

Invest in an aftermarket global positioning system (GPS) tracker as it may assist in recovery of the vehicle if it is stolen

When not in use, place vehicle key fob inside a radio frequency shielding bag/pouch to block cell signals

Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system and ensure your cameras are properly placed and functioning for 24-hour use

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