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Toronto police released images of two men involved in a string of high-end break-ins and vehicle thefts. (Toronto Police Service)
Toronto police released images of two men involved in a string of high-end break-ins and vehicle thefts. (Toronto Police Service)

Gang targeting homes for expensive cars, police say Add to ...

Toronto police released images Thursday of two men involved in a string of high-end break-ins and vehicle thefts.

More than 20 vehicles have been stolen in Toronto since August and Staff Inspector Mike Earl said that doesn’t include similar thefts being investigated in other parts of the GTA.

Staff Insp. Earl said police believe the suspects are part of an organized gang that’s targeting homes in high-end subdivisions for their expensive cars.

Police said the suspects enter in the late evening or early morning, disable the alarm systems and steal keys to Maseratis, Porsches, BMWs and other vehicles worth more than $100,000.

The homeowners were either sleeping or on holiday in each case, the most recent of which occurred Nov. 11 in the Royal York and Edenbridge area.

Three of the 23 cars stolen were recovered from residential parking lots in Mississauga within days of being taken, but Staff Insp. Earl said he thinks the rest have either been shipped overseas or given new VIN numbers and resold.

There have been no confrontations with the suspects yet and in each case, if they’re unable to get the car keys, police said the suspects take anything from jewellery to iPads - and in one case they stole roughly $100,000 in jewellery.

Staff Insp. Earl said people should avoid confronting the men, one of whom is shown in an Oct. 13 surveillance video to be mid-20s, medium build and of Eastern European background with a shaved head, while the other suspect’s face is partially covered by a red bandana. Police don’t know if the suspects are armed, but they are “brazen.”

“They’re probably a bunch of street mutts that have just basically been practising this for years and years and became very good at it,” Staff Insp. Earl said.

There’s a large market for the stolen vehicles and he estimates they’ve made “well into the millions.”

Police are looking for help identifying the men, but in the meantime Staff Insp. Earl recommends people hide their keys.

“People that usually keep their keys close to the kitchen, close to the garage, may want to think twice about that and put it into a hidden area,” he said.

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