Two charged and stolen vehicle recovered following VIN tampering investigation in Oakville

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Published August 24, 2023 at 6:07 pm

Two suspects have been arrested and charged with multiple offences after a re-vinning investigation in Oakville.

On Wednesday (Aug. 23), 2023, Halton Regional Police conducted several search warrants within Oakville pertaining to a probe into auto theft.

Consequently, a re-vinned 2021 Ford Explorer was located by police.

Officers say this instance marked the fourth recovery of a stolen vehicle in the course of the four-month investigation, with the collective value of the vehicles estimated at $250,000.

According to investigators, the suspects were allegedly registering stolen vehicles under fictitious or duplicated Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) through the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

VIN cloning occurs when a person duplicates a car’s identity and links it to a different vehicle, often a stolen one.

This involves removing the original manufacturer-installed VIN and replacing it with a “cloned” VIN from another vehicle of the same make and model. This second VIN is a legitimate number from a similar type of vehicle.

Police say they have arrested two people and laid multiple charges in connection to the incident.

Bassam Abualkhair (42) of Oakville was arrested and charged with the following:

  • Five counts of stolen property over $5000.
  • Two counts of changing Vehicle Identification Numbers.
  • Two counts of possession of a counterfeit mark.
  • Three counts of possession of a forged document.
  • Two counts of possession of automobile master keys.
  • Fraud over $5000.

Rawan Iskandarani (39) of Oakville was also arrested and charged with possession of property obtained by a crime over $5000.

Both the accused were released from custody and are awaiting a court date.

Halton police say they are putting a lot of effort into investigating car thefts, but believe crime prevention is a shared responsibility.

If residents see a crime happening or notice anything suspicious with people or vehicles in their area are asked to call 911.

Police have listed some measures that residents can take to decrease the chances of their vehicle being stolen:

  • Park your vehicle in a locked garage.
  • Block the exit of a potential target vehicle with a second vehicle parked behind it.
  • Install an on-board diagnostic blocker/protector.
  • Install a steering wheel lock device.
  • Install an aftermarket GPS tracking device.
  • Install home security cameras on the exterior of the residence.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2216.

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