5 men face charges in connection with West Island car thefts

Montreal police have arrested five men in connection with car thefts in the West Island.

Marc-Olivier Delisle, 25, Mickael Brilo-Martin, 20, Christian Gaumont, 34, Esteban Cantos-Lepage, 25 and Jeremy Dumontier, 19, face charges of theft, handling stolen goods and conspiracy.

The five suspects, who were arrested during police raids earlier this month, appeared in court on April 20.

During the raids, police seized cell phones, 34 grams of cannabis, devices for making keys, three stolen license plates, a tool known as a Slim Jim and various documents from vehicles that had been reported stolen.

Police began their investigation in the West Island in November 2016.

Most thefts were carried out in hotel parking lots near Montreal's Trudeau airport, which have fast and easy access to the highway.

Officers met with managers at the hotels, which are all located along a stretch of Côte-de-Liesse Road.

Avoiding car theft

Police are asking people to take precautions to reduce the odds of having their car stolen.

They include:

- Parking your vehicle in a well-lit area.

- Locking the doors and closing the windows, even if you leave your vehicle only for a few minutes.

- Never leaving vehicles unattended, even if only for a few minutes.

Other tips include not leaving keys with strangers (valet, parking attendant, etc.) and removing important documents that list your address to prevent theft in your home.

Police also suggest having a steering-wheel lock, an alarm system or tracking system.