Thursday , 1 June 2023
Home News Halton Police cuff suspect in sophisticated auto theft ring

Halton Police cuff suspect in sophisticated auto theft ring

10 stolen vehicles with fake VIN numbers recovered

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Auto Theft Task Force has recovered 10 vehicles and laid multiple charges after an investigation called “Project VINcent.”

During the course of the investigation, the Task Force identified an organized vehicle theft ring operating in Halton and the Greater Toronto Area. Thieves would steal vehicles, increasingly these days by tapping into key fob signals and cloning them. The suspects would register fictitious or cloned VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers) with the MTO. Once the documents were registered, the suspects put the new VINs on stolen vehicles and sold them to unsuspecting buyers. Ten of these vehicles have been recovered by the HRPS Auto Theft Task Force.

Thursday, investigators caught up with  Fabricio Calderon (47) of Etobicoke. He has been charged with the following:

Uttering a Forged Document (25 counts)

Possession of a Counterfeit Mark (22 counts)

Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5000

Possession of Property Obtained by Crime under $5000

Calderon was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

What is VIN Cloning?

VIN cloning takes place when a suspect copies the identity of a car and attaches it to another vehicle. The “cloned” VIN is often attached to a stolen vehicle. In these cases, the VIN installed by the manufacturer is removed and replaced with the “cloned” VIN from a second vehicle. The cloned or second VIN is a valid and genuine number from a vehicle that is of a similar make and model to the stolen vehicle.

There are some measures that residents can take to decrease the chance of the vehicle being stolen:

Park your vehicle in a locked garage

Block the exit of a potential target vehicle with a second vehicle parked behind it

Install an on-board diagnostic blocker/protector

Install a steering wheel lock device

Install an aftermarket GPS tracking device

Install home security cameras on the exterior of the residence

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Regional Auto Theft Task Force at 905-825-4777 ext. 3407.

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

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