New charges in Montreal-Ottawa auto theft ring

OTTAWA – Ottawa police have added new charges in an auto theft case that has also recovered 19 stolen vehicles

On Aug. 31, 2018, Ottawa Police Services (OPS) charged four men from the Montreal area in relation to motor vehicle thefts in the Ottawa area during the period of May to August 2018.

There were approximately 50 motor vehicles stolen in Ottawa in that period, and the approximate value of these thefts is $2.5M dollars. Several vehicles recovered were located at or around the Port of Montreal and were destined for export.

On Feb. 12, the OPS laid additional charges against two of the men.

Mathieu Authier, 26-years-old, was charged with 105 offences in connection with 19 motor vehicle thefts; and Eric Robert-Ferreira, 25-years-old with 35 offences in connection with 16 motor vehicle thefts.  Both men are from the Montreal area.

On April 17, criminal investigators from Central and East Division began Project Ravin – with support from frontline patrol, crime analysts and the Intelligence Unit – to further investigate the activities and role of an Ottawa man in placing orders for specific vehicle models/years with the car thieves from the Montreal area.

As a result of the Project, Jean Belleus, 58-years-old of Ottawa was charged on Saturday, May 11 with 10 charges related to case including possession of stolen property, forged documents and proceeds of crime.  He appeared in court on Tuesday, May 14.

“We have a cross directorate investigative approach with external policing partners, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the automotive industry to target the criminality specific to stolen vehicles and we are pleased with the results and success to date of Project Ravin,” said Ottawa Police Inspector Tim Hodgins, with Criminal Investigations. “We wish to remind the public that Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) dealers guarantee their vehicle purchase to consumers and protect them from purchasing a re-vinned vehicle.”

To date, 19 vehicles, primarily newer model luxury Toyota/Lexus SUV’s, have been recovered as a result of this Project. Subsequent examination of the vehicles revealed that they originated from motor vehicle thefts predominantly in Ottawa/Montreal area and other jurisdictions including Toronto. The estimated theft/fraud cost is approximately $1.4 million dollars, of which approximately $835,000 has been recovered.

Investigators found some vehicles had been transferred to multiple owners and while some people who purchased vehicles from Jean ‘Mario’ Belleus are victims; others may be facing criminal charges such as Possession of stolen property, Filing a false police report and Fraud (including insurance frauds).

The Ottawa Police investigative team continues to identify and recover stolen “re-vinned” vehicles sold in Ottawa and asking Ottawa residents who purchased a vehicle from Belleus to contact Central Criminal Investigations Detective Doug Belanger at or 613-236-1222 ext. 8724 or East Criminal Investigations Detective Stephen Love at or 613-236-1222, ext. 6240. You can find prevention tips at: Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at