Man Charged, Over $500k Worth Of Stolen Vehicles Seized

Detectives from the Vehicle Crime Squad have charged a man and seized 10 stolen vehicles, a stolen forklift, a stolen front-end loader as well as stolen motorbikes and engines following an investigation into the alleged theft, rebirthing and on selling of stolen vehicles.

With assistance from the Vehicle Examination Unit, a search warrant was executed at a semi-rural property in Cranbourne East on Wednesday morning (20 March).

A 39-year-old Cranbourne East man was charged with traffick drug of dependence, 11 counts of handle stolen goods and possess proceeds of crime related offences.

He was bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 27 March.

Ten stolen vehicles (seven Holden V8s, a Landcruiser, a Mazda BT50 and a Toyota), three stolen road bikes, a stolen dirt bike, five stolen car engines, one stolen trailer, a stolen front-end loader, a stolen forklift, a quad bike, a small quantity of cash and a traffickable quantity of what appears to methylamphetamine were seized from the property.

The recovered stolen vehicles and parts are worth in excess of $500,000.

All seized vehicles were displaying cloned number plates and had their vehicle identifiers (VIN and engine numbers) either removed, altered or defaced.

Police believe the property was being used to store stolen vehicles and facilitate the rebirthing.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information about vehicle rebirthing is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at

Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Julie Macdonald, Vehicle Crime Squad:

“The term motor vehicle rebirthing covers a few different scenarios, but in essence, it refers to modifying or removing identifying information from a stolen vehicle or stolen parts to disguise the fact that it has been stolen.

“The wider ramifications of this kind of crime can ripple through to the entire community – from someone who can’t get to work or get their kids to school because their car’s been stolen, to insurance premiums being raised for everyone to cover the costs of vehicle theft.

“Rebirthed vehicles can be a major safety threat to unwitting buyers – often the rebirthing process is not carried out by a qualified mechanic, meaning that the car could have serious issues which can result in an accident.

“The Vehicle Crime Squad will continue to target those contributing to organised motor vehicle crime in Victoria and shut down any illegal activity of this nature.

“We’d also invite anyone with information about this kind of illegal activity to please contact Crime Stoppers – it can be done anonymously, and we’ll continue to act on these reports.”

/Public Release. View in full here.