Toronto: Police have arrested 16 people, charged them with 116 charges and found stolen vehicles worth $1.4 million after they busted a gang running a carjacking network in the Greater Toronto Area.

Operation GTA was launched in June this year in the wake of a surge in violent carjacking incidents in the Greater Toronto Area. It was a joint forces operation carried out to find out which criminal network was working to fund and augment all these carjacking incidents.

The task force was led by the York Regional Police and was accompanied by the Toronto Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Peel Regional Police and Ontario Provincial Police.

In a press release, the police said there has been a significant increase in cases of carjacking during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In many cases, weapons were also used by the musketeers, which is a serious threat to public safety.

On October 11 and 12 this year, several search warrants were issued and searches were conducted and several people were arrested, police said. Investigators said they found 19 stolen vehicles, estimated to be worth $1.4 million, as well as 50 vehicles worth $5 million that had been reshaped.

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