Fraudulent license plate leads to arrest of driver of stolen SUV

The theft of an expensive sport utility vehicle from the driveway of a Toronto home this week received more unwanted attention Monday when police were called when the vehicle was picked up near Halifax.

The theft of the black Jeep Cherokee, which had Kevin Donovan and his family inside, came to light on Monday morning when he left the keys in the ignition and tried to crack open the car to start the ignition. After some difficulty, he lifted the hood and saw something moving under the hood, but he didn’t see who was inside.

Police arrived at about 8:40 a.m.

Donovan’s wife was home when the SUV was taken, but she had stepped out for a few minutes to stretch.

The SUV was registered to a company, GTT, an engineering firm based in the Detroit area. The North Carolina-based company received a call from people who were unsure how to download footage from a camera that had been installed in the garage, CTV News reported.

Donovan told the news station he believes he left the keys in the car, thinking his three young children would be safely in the house.

“I didn’t think I would be alone with the Jeep on my own driveway, so I hadn’t even turned it on,” he said.

Donovan also said that he had no idea the car was stolen because no one has checked the security footage for about a day.

A Facebook post by Toronto Police urging victims of vehicle thefts to report the crimes has received thousands of shares.

A man who identified himself as John Soliounis, the co-CEO of GTT, said on CTV News that the company’s surveillance footage showed that the car was left in the garage and the thief left it running after damaging the power source. He also said the company saw the theft on its surveillance video.

The surveillance footage reportedly shows the vehicle was taken from the street at about 9:45 p.m. on Monday.

Donovan’s SUV was later spotted in woods on a track near Halifax, and police confirmed that it was being tracked.

Later Monday, police arrested a man with the fake ID and passport in the vehicle. The man was charged with theft over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime and introducing false evidence.

Donovan confirmed to CTV News that it was his vehicle and that he was happy to get the car back, although he said he was upset someone could “vandalize a vehicle for whatever reason.”

“[It] doesn’t look like a very good way to spend your money,” he said.

Read the full story at CTV News.


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