05/08/2015 09:05 EDT | Updated 05/08/2016 05:59 EDT

Ottawa auto theft ring bust leads to 2 arrests

Two Montreal men have been charged in connection to a string of vehicle thefts in Ottawa last year.

Ottawa police say investigators determined 25 vehicles, mostly Lexus/Toyota products, were stolen from driveways of private residences in various neighbourhoods in Ottawa from April to September 2014.

The total value of these vehicles was in excess of $800,000, police say.

Six of the stolen vehicles were found in shipping containers at the port in Montreal.

Police believe the remaining vehicles were either shipped overseas, dismantled for parts or had their vehicle identification number changed from a stolen vehicle to a legitimate one.

Police had warned the public last year about the rash of luxury car and truck thefts, warning Ottawa residents to lock their cars and put them in the garage to discourage thefts. But Ottawa police spokesman Marc Soucy said these arrests are not necessarily connected to those thefts.

One of the two accused, age 34, was charged Apr. 9 and faces:

- 23 counts of theft of vehicle;

- 25 counts of possession of break-in instruments;

- Four counts of attempted theft;

- Two counts of possession of property obtained by crime.

He has appeared in an Ottawa court and has been released with strict conditions.

The second accused, age 27, was arrested and charged on Mar. 3. He faces:

- 22 counts of theft of vehicle.

- 22 counts of possession of break-in instruments.

- Two counts of theft over 5,000 dollars.

He has pleaded guilty to a number of the charges and was sentenced on Apr. 17 to three years and fined $11,000.

Ottawa police say the arrests came as a result of cooperation with Gatineau Police Service, RCMP National Port Enforcement Team and the Canada Border Services Agency.