Three people were arrested earlier this week in connection to the theft of several Lexus RX350 vehicles that investigators think were going to be shipped overseas.
Police said the three men, believed to be from Quebec, were arrested Tuesday and charged with theft over $5,000. The charge came after seven vehicles were stolen across the Lower Mainland.
Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team, New Westminster Police Department, Surrey RCMP, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, RCMP Air Services and the Lower Mainland police dog team all worked together in the investigation.
Three of the vehicles were found in a shipping container at a Surrey salvage yard, police said. Three more were found in a shipping container that was moved from the Surrey yard to a truck yard in New Westminster. The final vehicle was found parked on a Surrey road.
Police said they believe the vehicles were first going to be shipped to eastern Canada, then overseas. While they didn’t say where they thought the cars would ultimately end up, investigators across the country have noticed a surge in car thefts, with criminal enterprises taking advantage of low-risk, high-profit opportunities to sell Canadian cars to markets in the Middle East and Africa.