Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Two Stirling men charged with theft, fraud after approximately $3 million in stolen vehicles retrieved

OPP photo

Two people have been arrested following a search warrant executed in Stirling by OPP, which also resulted in the seizure of several vehicles, including classic cars.

The OPP’s Lambton County Crime Unit initiated the investigation following a complaint in late 2023 regarding stolen vehicles worth approximately $3 million, a media release explains.

On May 14, 2024, the OPP, in conjunction with the Fleet, Supply and Weapons Services Bureau, Central Hastings OPP Crime Unit, Emergency Response Team, the Provincial Auto Theft and Towing (PATT) Team, and the Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit (PAFU), executed the search warrant. Several stolen vehicles were found, including classic cars, and 16 vehicles were seized as proceeds of crime.

Robert Bradshaw, 54, and Gary Leblanc, 55, both of Stirling, were arrested and charged with theft of motor vehicles over $5,000, fraud over $5,000, use of forged documents, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Leblanc faces an additional charge of uttering threats. Charges have not been proven in court. Both have been released from custody and are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville at a later date.

OPP photo

OPP Detective Superintendent Paula Milne commented on the operation:

“Collaboration across our organization and with our partner agencies is imperative to combat the prevalence of auto theft and related fraud within Ontario. The OPP-led Provincial Auto Theft and Towing Team and the Provincial Asset Forfeiture Team are well-equipped to assist frontline members and other agencies with auto theft investigations and investigations related to financial crimes,” stated OPP Detective Superintendent Paula Milne in the media release. “This investigation is another testament to the surge we have seen in auto theft and financial crimes over the last few years and the need for subject matter expert involvement in these investigations.”

Inspector Chris Avery, Lambton County Detachment Commander, added: “As Lambton County Detachment Commander, I’m pleased that our Crime Unit members’ exemplary efforts played an important role in bringing this multi-unit investigation to a conclusion. Crime does not respect borders. That’s why it’s essential that members of law enforcement work together to bring criminals to justice.”

The investigation is ongoing. Authorities encourage anyone with information to contact the OPP’s non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or

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