Edmonton Police Service (EPS) have recovered a large number of stolen vehicles.

On May 12, while investigating the theft of a 2022 Ford Expedition, the EPS Targeted Response to Auto Theft Prevention (TRAP) team went to a warehouse in St. Albert, the last known GPS location of the stolen vehicle.

Upon arrival, EPS say the team saw several newer vehicles within a fenced compound and several shipping containers with vehicles inside them.

"TRAP, with the assistance of the RCMP conducted a search warrant at the property. In total, 19 stolen vehicles were recovered, some of which had falsified vehicle identification numbers (VINs). Additional false VIN labels were also seized," police reported.

EPS says that on Thursday (Aug. 4), 33-year-old Alain Damen turned himself in to police and was charged with 18 counts of possession of stolen property over $5000, possession of stolen property under $5000, five counts of fraudulent concealment and six counts of altering or removing a vehicle VIN.

“The victims affected by this operation included everyone from private citizens whose vehicles were stolen from their garages to insurance companies whose vehicles were fraudulently rented,” added Sgt. Ian Strom, with the EPS TRAP team. “We are just scraping the surface with these recoveries, and are continuing to investigate other locations connected to the accused.”

The investigation also led to the recovery of four stolen vehicles from shipping containers in the Port of Montreal waiting to be shipped overseas.

In total, the 23 recovered vehicles have a combined value of almost $1.1-million.