Police bust major car theft ring in Toronto

In 2009, a joint forces investigation, “Project Enterprise,” began. It involved the Toronto Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara Regional Police Service and the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Enforcement Unit. The project targeted the alleged fraudulent issuance of structural certificates for rebuilt vehicles and the selling of those salvaged vehicles. The investigation concluded on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, with the arrest of three men from Toronto and one from Niagara.

On June, 22, 2011, search warrants were executed in Niagara Region in relation to this investigation.

It is alleged that:

– John Keen owned and operated a body shop, Downtown Collision, at 165 Geary Avenue, Toronto

– Osvaldo Savia was the operator of Car Care Centre, at 24 Eddystone Avenue, Toronto

– Keen and Savia applied to the Ministry of Transportation to become Structural Inspection Stations and were granted certification

– both men entered into an agreement with an insurance appraiser, Giovanni Bellisario, who provided Keen and Savia with structural certificates

– Bellisario would attend various locations and conduct improper structural inspections of vehicles, although he was not qualified to conduct such inspections

– Bellisario would complete the required documentation and bring it to Keen and Savia

– Keen and Savia would sign the certificates indicating that the inspections were conducted

– the men would split the financial profits from the fraudulent inspections

– some of the vehicles inspected were stolen and re-vinned vehicles

– some of the vehicles were re-inspected and found not to meet safety requirements

– victims who purchased the rebuilt vehicles did so with the understanding that they were safe, legal and roadworthy

It is further alleged that:

– David De Oliveira is the sole owner of Prestige Collision at 62 Shaft Road, Toronto

– the accused imported a salvaged vehicle from the USA, removed the Vehicle Identification Number from the vehicle and placed it on a stolen vehicle,

– the accused then sold the stolen vehicle that had been re-vinned

It is further alleged that:

– Gabor Toth was in possession of several stolen vehicles that were re-vinned using VINs from the salvaged vehicles

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, John Keen, 51, of Toronto, was charged with:

1. 52 counts of Fraud Under
2. 52 counts of Uttering Forged Documents

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Giovanni Bellisario, 53, of Toronto, was charged with:

1. 125 counts of Fraud Under
2. 125 counts of Uttering Forged Documents

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Osvaldo Savia, 57, of Toronto, was charged with:

1. 73 counts of Fraud Under
2. 73 counts of Uttering Forged Documents

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, David De Oliveira, 33, of Toronto, was charged with:

1. Property Obtained by Crime Over
2. Fraud Over
3. two counts of Uttering Forged Documents

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, Gabor Toth, 39, of Toronto, was charged with:

1. seven counts of Property Obtained by Crime
2. three counts of Uttering Forged Documents

All five men are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 1000 Finch Avenue West, room 306, 10 a.m.

Correction: A news conference was held on Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 10 a.m., at TPS Traffic Services.

A TPS spokesman said that John Keen was the owner of the Downtown Group. The spokesman was wrong. John Keen is the owner of Downtown Collision, at 165 Geary Avenue, in Toronto. The Downtown Group is not connected in any way with the investigation known as Project Enterprise. The TPS regrets any embarrassment caused.

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