Winnipeg police arrest 9 people in theft ring, search warrant out for 11 others


    WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police have arrested nine people and are on the hunt for 11 others after busting a major theft ring that spread across Canada.

    On Tuesday, police released details about the investigation called, ‘Project Heavy Metal’, saying more than 140 charges will be laid related to stolen property in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba.

    Investigators also said some of the suspects involved were not only committing crime in Manitoba, but also active in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

    “Information gained over the past year through our detective division…. [shows] that we may have semi-organized group that may be operating this,” said Inspector Barry Kostchuk of the Winnipeg Police Service.

    On Sept. 2, a search warrant was executed at home in Calgary, where police found two stolen RCMP uniforms and police equipment.

    On Oct. 11, nine Manitoba suspects were arrested and charged with numerous property related offences. Police said there is still a search warrant out for 11 other suspects involved in the crime.

    In total there has been around $300,000 recovered from the stolen property, police said. This includes:

    • Vehicles
    • Camper trailer
    • Police equipment
    • Snow blowers
    • New tires
    • Lawn care equipment
    • Building material
    • Tools
    • Key cutting machines
    • Electronics
    • Blank passports and blank birth certificates

    The suspects involved were known to each other and some of them have been involved in the methamphetamine drug trade, police said.

    The investigation is ongoing.