A WALLAN property has been searched in relation to a Victoria Police vehicle rebirthing investigation that became public last year.
Lancefield, Romsey and Doreen residents were among 18 people arrested in connection with an organised crime syndicate implicated in a vehicle rebirthing operation last year.
On Tuesday last week Victoria Police announced they had arrested and charged five more people with vehicle theft and rebirthing.
In addition to the Wallan property, residences in Mooroolbark and Alfredton and a storage unit in Wendouree were searched. Of the five people arrested, three were from Mooroolbark and two from Alfredton.
Police seized a number of items including allegedly stolen CCTV cameras, an allegedly stolen and rebirthed Holden Astra bearing false numberplates, methylamphetamines, cash, allegedly stolen bank cards, and weapons including conducted energy devices, knives, a sword and nunchuks.
Vehicle rebirthing is the practice of transferring identifying parts of a wrecked car onto a stolen car of the same make and model, allowing the stolen car to be sold with the identity of the wrecked car. The practice is illegal throughout Australia.
Senior Constable Alistair Parsons said the investigation into the car rebirthing scheme and associated organised crime was ongoing.
Over the past 12 months, police vehicle crime squad detectives have executed 47 search warrants, arrested 25 people, and laid more than 375 charges.
Investigators have seized 54 motor vehicles, 27 trailers, 21 motorcycles, 19 engines, a stolen tow truck, a stolen boat, three stolen earth moving machines, four firearms, hundreds of stolen power tools, stolen auto parts and quantities of drugs.
In total, more than 800 items of property valued at more than 2.5 million dollars have been seized.
Anyone with information about individuals or businesses that may be involved in motor vehicle theft, dealing in stolen vehicles and automotive parts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.