Man charged, $1M in stolen Alberta cars recovered in Nova Scotia

A Nova Scotia man is facing a slew of charges following a year-long police investigation into the trafficking of $1 million worth of stolen cars from Alberta into Nova Scotia.

The charges against the 41-year-old man include nine counts of possessing stolen property and fraud over $5,000.

Police say the vehicles they recovered were each worth more than $100,000. RCMP Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay told CBC News the targeting of luxury vehicles by thieves is a trend across Canada.

He said some of the stolen vehicles were found throughout the Halifax area. A search warrant was also executed in Kings County and the cars had been re-vinned.

Tremblay said re-vinning involves the real vehicle identification number being removed and replaced with either a fictitious VIN or a genuine VIN from another vehicle somewhere else in North America.

When an actual VIN from another vehicle that hasn't been reported stolen is used, Tremblay said it adds an extra layer of complexity to the investigation.

He said seized vehicles can then either be sold or destroyed depending on if they have an authentic VIN. Without the correct VIN, he said, selling them becomes a challenge.

Tremblay said it was likely that the vehicles were destined for sale locally.

"In general, vehicles that are exported out of the country are normally done out of other provinces such as Quebec or Ontario, which we've seen lately with the vehicle thefts that have been happening there," he said

According to Tremblay, vehicles recovered in proceeds of crime investigations are often seized and forfeited to the Crown.