Four vehicles with a total estimated value of $225,000 were seized and seven individuals were detained this week, as par of a Surrey fraud investigation that began last year.
The investigation started in the fall, when officers from the Surrey RCMP’s Community Response Unit (CRU) began an investigation into complaints of alleged vehicle fraud last fall.
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Investigators suspected person’s identities from around the Lower Mainland were being stolen or compromised for the purpose of purchasing, registering and re-selling high-end vehicles.
During the investigation four vehicles were seized including a 2018 GMC Denali SUV, 2015 Audi Q5 SUV, 2013 Chrysler 300 sedan, and a 2011 Dodge Ram pick-up truck. The vehicles, with an estimated total value of $225,000, were allegedly obtained through fraudulent means.
On January 18, CRU, with assistance from the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team, executed a search warrant on a residence in the 8300 block of 135A Street as part of the investigation, which now included alleged identity fraud.
During the search, officers seized police-type body armour, a sawed-off rifle, two handguns, three imitation handguns, ammunition, numerous edged weapons, and an assortment of suspected stolen identity documents and mail.
Seven individuals were located inside the residence at the time of the search and subsequently detained. They have since been released from custody as the investigation continues.
“Individuals associated with identity theft and fraud will stop at nothing to get what they want including expensive vehicles,” said Surrey RCMP Insp. Wendy Mehat. “Victims of these crimes can experience financial loss and difficulty obtaining credit or restoring their ’good name.'”
In light of the investigation, police are reminding the public to periodically check their credit reports, bank and credit card statements, and report any irregularities promptly to the relevant financial institution and to the credit bureaus.
Anyone with information about this occurrence, who has not already spoken with police, is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. Those who wish to leave an anonymous tip can do so by contacting Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leaving a tip online.