KANATA — Two Montreal men were arrested this week in the city’s west end in separate incidents, both charged with stealing Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV).

“Patrol officers intercepted two stolen SUVs in the city’s west end this week,” the Ottawa Police Service released in a statement today (March 5).

At approximately 2:30 a.m. on March 2, patrol officers observed two Lexus SUVs travelling in tandem eastbound on Highway 417 just past the Moodie Drive exit.

“Officers were able to initiate a traffic stop with the assistance of the Canine Unit and successfully apprehended the driver of one of the vehicles following a police pursuit,” the OPS said. “The stopped vehicle had been reported stolen out of Markham on Feb. 26, 27. The second vehicle was not located.”

At approximately 4 a.m. on March 4, officers responded to a vehicle theft in progress near Hazeldean Road and Stittsville Main Street.

“Officers were able to locate the stolen Toyota 4Runner SUV in the area and initiate a traffic stop,” the OPS said. “The driver surrendered to officers and was arrested.”

West Criminal investigators have charged Ralff Castan, 24 of Montreal, with the following crimes in relation to the stolen Lexus:

  • Possession of stolen property over $5,000
  • Flight from police
  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence
  • Obstructing police
  • Three counts of breach probation

 Castan was released with conditions and is scheduled to appear in court on March 16.

West Criminal investigators also charged Abderazak Achab, a 26 of Montreal, with the following in relation to the stolen 4Runner:

  • Theft of a motor vehicle
  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
  • Mischief/Tampering with computer data
  • Mischief/Damage to property under $5,000
  • Possession of a break-in instrument
  • Unlawfully purchasing an automobile starter key
  • Possession of device to obtain computer service or computer system
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence

Achab remains in custody.

“Investigators would like to remind residents to take precaution in order to protect their vehicle,” the OPS said. “Any Lexus/Toyota SUV owners that notice new or fresh damage to the driver’s side door handle or observe someone taking photos of their dashboard Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), are asked to report it to the OPS.”