Tip to Lambton OPP leads to major stolen car seizure near Belleville

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An investigation by Lambton OPP and partners from across the province led to the seizure of 16 stolen cars May 14.

A complaint to Lambton OPP’s Crime Unit led to the seizure of about $3 million of stolen cars north of Belleville.

According to the OPP, Lambton officers received a complaint late last year from a Lambton car owner about his stolen vehicle. The local officers began investigating with the OPP Fleet, Supply and Weapons Services Bureau, and Central Hastings OPP Crime Unit on the file.

May 14, the officers along with Central Hastings OPP’s Emergency Response Team, the OPP-led Provincial Auto Theft and Towing Team and the OPP-led Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit searched a garage in Stirling, a small farming community north of Belleville.

Police found 16 stolen vehicles, some stacked on racks to the ceiling, in the shed. Several of the vehicles had been stolen, including some classic cars. Officers estimate they’re worth about $3 million.

Some of the 16 cars seized in Stirling, Ontario.

Police seized the cars and arrested two men from Stirling.

Robert Bradshaw, 54, and Gary LeBlanc, 55, have been charged with theft of motor vehicles over $5,000, fraud, using forged documents and conspiracy.

The pair were released from custody to appear in court later.

“This investigation is another testament to the surge we have seen in auto theft and financial crimes over the last few years,” said OPP Det. Superintendent Paula Milne, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau in a news release.

Lambton OPP Insp. Chris Avery is pleased his officers “played an important role” in the investigation.

“Crime does not respect borders. That’s why it’s essential that members of law enforcement work together to bring criminals to justice,” he said in a news release.