Organized crime charges laid in auto theft investigation
Each year, during the month of March, the Calgary Police Service takes part in a month-long crime prevention initiative known as Fraud Prevention Month. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the national campaign, with CPS participating with other community partners and law enforcement agencies at the provincial level. Fraud Prevention Month aims to educate citizens about how to recognize, report and stop fraud. CPS also works to inform people about the available resources for those who have experienced fraud or scam activity.
The Calgary Police Service has laid charges following a 22-month investigation into an alleged organized crime group that was operating in Calgary and believed to be responsible for trafficking stolen vehicles.
In November 2017, members of an investigative team assigned specifically to address the high number of auto thefts in our city identified an organized crime group that was believed to be involved in the procurement and trafficking of stolen vehicles. It is alleged that members of this group worked together in a sophisticated manner to obtain stolen vehicles from low-level car thieves, re-VIN* them and then sell those vehicles to unsuspecting buyers.
Throughout the investigation, police learned that the group was obtaining stolen vehicles through various sources, and in some cases specifically asked car thieves to steal certain vehicles in exchange for cash, drugs or other stolen vehicles. Thieves primarily stole vehicles by targeting vehicles that were left running with the keys inside or vehicles left in unsecure garages.
The group then allegedly re-vinned stolen vehicles and created matching fraudulent bills of sale along with registration and insurance documents in an effort to conceal the vehicle’s original identity. The group used this fraudulent information to re-register and insure the stolen vehicles before ultimately selling them to buyers in British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan.
Police also learned that these vehicles were used in several other crimes, including fraud, drug trafficking, trafficking in stolen property, break and enter, and thefts.
In May 2018, as part of this investigation, police executed eight search warrants at properties between Calgary and Saskatoon and recovered of various stolen vehicles, licence plates, fraudulent documents and drugs. Investigators recovered five stolen vehicles during the execution of one of these warrants at an auto repair shop, Modern Motors Ltd., located in Saskatoon, Sask. During the execution of another one of these warrants, investigators discovered a marijuana grow-op, located at a property in the 28200 block of Township Road 224A, Rockyview County.
During the investigation police seized the following:
- 39 stolen vehicles, worth approximately $1.9 million
- A residential property located in Ogden, determined to be purchased with proceeds of crime
- 402 fentanyl pills
- 4.5 kilograms of marijuana
- 17 grams of cocaine
- 512 fraudulent Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
- Other documents relating to the registration and sale of stolen vehicles
On Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, police arrested and charged the following individuals in relation to this investigation:
- Tyler Roger SCOTT, 34, of Calgary, has been charged with one count each of instructing a person to commit an indictable offence on behalf of a criminal organization, conspiring to commit an indictable offence, laundering proceeds of crime, and trafficking in property obtained by crime over $5,000.
- Tami Lee SCOTT, 55, of Calgary, has been charged with one count each of committing an indictable offence for the benefit of, association of, or direction of a criminal organization, and laundering proceeds of crime.
- Ikraam Elahi CHAUDHARY, 35, of Saskatoon, has been charged with one count each of committing an indictable offence for the benefit of, association of, or direction of a criminal organization, conspiring to commit an indictable offence, laundering proceeds of crime, and trafficking in property obtained by crime over $5,000.
SCOTT, SCOTT and CHAUDHARY will next appear in court on Monday, March 18. 2019.
- Sylvain Serge LEFEVRE, 36, of Calgary is wanted on Canada-wide warrants for trafficking in property obtained by crime over $5,000, conspiring to commit an indictable offence and committing an indictable offence for the benefit of, association of, or direction of a criminal organization.
LEFEVRE is described as 5’9” tall, 140 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. He has tattoos of the word “ATTICUS” on his left forearm, a nautical star with “CARPE DIEM” on his right wrist and a chain on his left ankle. A photo of LEFEVRE is available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
Anyone with information about LEFEVRE’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 403-266-1234. People with information can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously through either of the following methods:
Investigators would like to thank Service Alberta, Alberta RCMP, British Columbia RCMP, the Edmonton Police Service and the Saskatoon Police Service for their assistance throughout this investigation. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be laid.
Case # 17154121/4277
*Each vehicle has a unique VIN used to identify and track the history of a vehicle. No two vehicles in operation are given the same VIN. Re-vinning, or replacing the vehicle’s original VIN with a fraudulent VIN, is a common method used by criminals to conceal stolen vehicles.