Police in Poland have carried out a major operation against car thieves, resulting in the dismantling of five illegal car repair shops, the arrest of seven people, and the recovery of five stolen vehicles, as well as thousands of car parts from at least 120 stolen cars. The Central Bureau of Investigation of the Polish Police and the Regional Police Headquarters in Gdańsk were supported by the Regional Police Headquarters in Szczecin, Gorzów Wielkopolski and Poznań, as well as by the Anti-Terrorist Police in Gdańsk and Bydgoszcz, and in cooperation with the German Zentrale Kriminalinspektion Braunschweig. The action, involving nearly 200 officers, was overseen by the Pomeranian branch of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The operation began on the A2 motorway near Poznań, where four suspects were arrested and two Volkswagen cars stolen in Germany a few hours earlier were recovered. Tools used for stealing vehicles were also found hidden in the ventilation system of the suspects’ car. Further investigations were carried out in Pomerania, where 18 properties were searched, resulting in the discovery of five illegal car repair shops. Three more men were arrested in places where stolen cars were hidden and dismantled, including the alleged organizer of the criminal activity, his accomplice, and a person suspected of concealing and dismantling stolen vehicles. The police recovered Volkswagen cars with fake identification numbers, including a car stolen three days earlier in Pruszcz Gdański. Overall, the officers recovered five stolen vehicles and seized several thousand different car parts, including vehicle bodies, body parts, and electrical components. According to investigators, the recovered car parts come from at least 120 cars stolen from Poland and Germany. The identification numbers of 250 other seized car parts are also being investigated.
According to preliminary findings, the value of vehicles stolen in Germany is almost PLN 3 million (approximately USD 740,000), but this is only a rough estimate. The investigators are currently working on a complete list of stolen vehicles, and their total value may be several times higher. During the operation, cash, a car, and motorcycles worth about PLN 1 million (approximately USD 245,000) were also seized.
The suspects were brought before the Pomeranian Branch of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk. The charges against them include participation in an organized criminal group and theft of vehicles. The police said the dismantling of illegal car repair shops would have a significant impact on the activities of car thieves in Poland and Germany.