Edmonton TRAP team uncovers auto theft, re-VINing operation

Edmonton, Alberta – The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has recovered 19 stolen vehicles following a search warrant executed on a warehouse in St. Albert.

On May 12, 2022, while investigating the theft of a 2022 Ford Expedition, the EPS TRAP (Targeted Response to Auto Theft Prevention) team went to an address in St. Albert, the last known GPS location of the stolen vehicle. Upon arrival, the team observed several newer vehicles within a fenced compound, as well as several shipping containers with vehicles inside them.

VIN Fraud
VIN Fraud (File Photo)

On May 13, 2022, TRAP, with the assistance of the RCMP Auto Theft Unit and Équité Association, executed a search warrant at the property. In total, 19 stolen vehicles were recovered, some of which had falsified vehicle identification numbers (VINs). Additional false VIN labels were also seized. The investigation also led to the recovery of four stolen vehicles from shipping containers located in the Port of Montreal waiting to be shipped overseas. In total, the 23 recovered vehicles have a combined value of $1,095,000.

On Aug. 4, 2022, Alain Damen, 33 turned himself into police and was charged with possession of stolen property over $5000 (x18), possession of stolen property under $5000, fraudulent concealment (x5) and alter or remove vehicle VIN (x6).

“The victims affected by this operation included everyone from private citizens whose vehicles were stolen from their garages to insurance companies whose vehicles were fraudulently rented,” says Sgt. Ian Strom, with the EPS TRAP team. “We are just scraping the surface with these recoveries, and are continuing to investigate other locations connected to the accused.”

MRU #: 22R075

Edmonton Police Service

“Dedicated to Protect, Proud to Serve”

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