3 charged after Toyota, Lexus SUVs stolen from Ottawa found in Quebec

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There have been a rash of thefts of Toyota and Lexus SUVs and trucks, like the one in the photo, since 2019 in Ottawa. (Submitted by Ben Shusterman - image credit)
There have been a rash of thefts of Toyota and Lexus SUVs and trucks, like the one in the photo, since 2019 in Ottawa. (Submitted by Ben Shusterman - image credit)

Three people from Montreal are facing a slew of charges after a number of high-end vehicles were stolen across Ottawa from the owners' driveways.

The thefts of a number of Toyota and Lexus SUVs occurred between late February and early March, according to Ottawa police.

Twenty of the vehicles have been recovered, including four at the Port of Montreal and three in other parts of Quebec that police said were "believed to be destined for export at the Port of Montreal."

Three men — ages 22, 25, and 26 — are charged with offences including theft of a motor vehicle, possession of break-in instruments, mischief and mischief to data.

Two of the men were released on promises to appear in court, while the third remains in custody. They're accused of using sophisticated technology to program new keys for the vehicles.

Police said more charges could be laid.

The thefts are the latest over the past few years. They commonly happen overnight, using technology that quickly programs new vehicle keys.

This year alone, police have received more than 100 reports of thefts of the newer Lexus and Toyoto SUVs.

Anyone noticing new or fresh damage to the driver's side door handle or someone taking photos of the car's vehicle identification number is encouraged to contact police.