Police operation targeting organized auto theft recovers $1.9 million in vehicles
A Calgary Police Service operation aimed at dismantling an organized group of auto thieves has resulted in 168 criminal charges and the recovery of 74 stolen vehicles.
The service’s Economic Crimes Unit Auto Theft Team, in cooperation with multiple other units across the service, started the operation in February and it ran until the end of April. It was aimed at stopping a small group of individuals believed to be responsible for a significant amount of Calgary’s auto thefts. The group was working closely together and is suspected of selling stolen vehicles for a profit, or using them as transportation to commit other more serious crimes.
Following the arrest of just two individuals in the early days of this operation, auto thefts in the city dropped by almost 40 vehicles per week.
The recovered vehicles were a variety of makes and models, however police also found more unusual vehicles such as skid steer loaders, snowmobiles, ATVs and utility trailers. Hundreds of vehicle keys and over 30 stolen licence plates were also found. In total, the recovered vehicles have an estimated value of $1.9 million.
A variety of drugs, $3,500 in US and Canadian currency, $12,700 worth of stolen goods, one rifle and one handgun were also seized.
The main individuals charged in connection with this operation are:
- Tyler Roger SCOTT, 30, of Calgary, is charged with 19 counts of breaching a court order, one count of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime.
- Tyler Timothy JOHN, 34, of Calgary is wanted on warrants for one count of possession of stolen property over $5,000 and one count of trafficking stolen property over $5,000. A photo of JOHN is available in the City of Calgary Newsroom, and anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police.
- Jason Howard LITTLE, 31, of Calgary, is charged with 13 counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, nine counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000, six counts of theft of a motor vehicle, three counts of driving without insurance, one count of taking a motor vehicle without consent, one count of theft over $5,000 and one count of property damage over $5,000.
- Brandi Lynn COUTERIELLE, 25, of Calgary, is charged with one count of possession of stolen property over $5,000 and one count of possession of stolen property under $5,000.
Vehicle theft is something that the Calgary Police Service takes very seriously since stolen vehicles are often used to commit other, sometimes violent, crimes. However, with one third of stolen cars being taken using the cars’ own keys, police cannot stop vehicle thefts alone.
Police are asking Calgarians to make sure you lock all vehicle, garage and house doors, even if you are nearby or only leaving for a short period of time. Vehicles should also not be left unattended with the keys inside, and spare keys should be kept in a secure location not in or around your vehicle.
This operation was one of two operations aimed at reducing property and vehicle crime in Calgary.