The execution of a warrant in Stone Mills Township found more than a half a million dollars in construction equipment, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
According to the Lennox and Addington County Detachment of the OPP, officers responded to a report of a recovered stolen vehicle in Newburgh on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. As a result, the OPP Community Street Crime Unit initiated an investigation and executed a search warrant at a commercial property on County Road 4, Camden East, in Stone Mills Township. That search warrant resulted in the seizure of a substantial amount of construction equipment from various commercial businesses worth over $600,000. The investigation into the stolen construction equipment began in October of 2019, police said at the press conference.
Items seized by the OPP include three side-by-sides, three ATVs, two backhoes, a bobcat, and four trailers, as well as a collection of stolen tools. Most of the stolen vehicles were modified to obscure their origins, including the addition of decals with the words “Devious Deals,” police revealed.
One of the backhoes has already been returned to its rightful owner, a local construction company. Police are working to determine ownership of the remaining equipment. The recovered property comes from several different locations, including Hastings and the Kingston area, police said.
“We plead with people who have equipment that is easily stolen (IE: universal keys) to lock their equipment up,” said OPP Inspector Scott Semple.
As a result of the investigation, the OPP have charged Kyle Spinney, 32, of Kingston with:
- Six counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000
- Possession of property obtained by crime — VIN number obliterated
Spinney was held in custody and attended a bail hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice in Napanee on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.
OPP Community Street Crime unit continue the ongoing investigation and are being assisted by the OPP Regional Support Team (RST) Auto theft unit.
Anyone with information is asked to contact L&A County OPP at 613-354-3369 or the OPP Provincial Communication Centre at 1-888-310-1122.
The OPP pointed to two programs in place to help deter such thefts. The OPP ‘Lock it or Lose it’ program is a joint initiative of the OPP and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
“A professional can steel your vehicle in 30 seconds. A vehicle with an unlocked door or an open window is an easy target,” the OPP said of the program.
The ‘Lock it or Lose it’ program offers the following tips to avoid the theft of vehicles:
- Always roll up your vehicle’s windows, lock the doors, and pocket the keys.
- Never leave your vehicle unattended while running.
- If you have a garage, use it and lock the door as well as your vehicle.
- Never leave your keys in plain view or in an easily accessible spot.
- Keep your vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you at all times — Do not leave these documents in your glove compartment.
- Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
- Never leave valuable objects in plain view within your vehicle.
- Give only your ignition key to a parking lot attendant and keep all other keys with you.
The OPP also advises to inform your local police or call the IBC TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS if you see vehicles of vehicle-related activities that look suspicious.
The other program is the OPP SafeGuard Ontario program, which advises that break and enters continue to remain an all-too-common occurrence in Canada, with more than 200,000 reported to police annually. Six in 10 of those break and enters are residential, another 30 per cent are businesses, and 10 per cent are other locations such as sheds and detached garages.
“Research indicates the decision to commit a crime is tied to the perceived risk of being caught and that a high frequency of re-victimization occurs during the 12 months following an initial break-in,” police said.
The SafeGuard Ontario program works in partnership with community volunteer members of its Auxiliary Policing program, and is a community based crime prevention program developed in support of OPP detachment front line workers to help citizens “lock criminals out of house and home.” The program uses a “problem oriented” policing approach and public awareness and education initiatives, which are supported through its Property Security Reviews of homes and small businesses by OPP Auxiliary members who are specifically trained through the program. SafeGuard Ontario training provides an orientation to the basic principles of ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’ with a focus on target hardening techniques to help reduce or prevent re-victimization of property crimes. For more information on the SafeGuard Ontario program, contact your local OPP detachment.