Stolen Holdens recovered in Victorian crackdown on ‘rebirthing’

Posted on June 6, 2024Comments Off on Stolen Holdens recovered in Victorian crackdown on ‘rebirthing’

Victoria Police has recovered three stolen high-performance Holdens as a part of its ongoing crackdown on criminals ‘rebirthing’ vehicles.

On June 5, members of Victoria Police’s Vehicle Crime Squad, with assistance from the Illicit Firearms Squad and Fugitive Squad, executed a search warrant at a home in Narre Warren following an investigation into rebirthed Holden Commodores.

Rebirthing involves transferring identifying features from multiple cars – such as its Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) and chassis numbers – to pass them off as another vehicle.

A 30-year-old man was charged with more than 43 offences, including handling stolen goods, the theft of motor vehicles, and thefts from motor vehicle, with investigators seizing around 20 sets of car keys, multiple sets of stolen number plates, and diagnostic tools.

A Holden VFII Commodore SS V Redline was also seized, along with two previously stolen Holden Special Vehicle (HSV) models and methylamphetamine.

The man was remanded to appear at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on 3 July.

“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,” said Vehicle Crime Squad Detective Inspector, Julie Macdonald.

“Not to mention the use of the stolen vehicles in the commission of other serious crimes and allowing offenders to move around more easily.

“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.”

It’s the latest arrest related to rebirthed Holdens in Victoria, following the Vehicle Crime Squad executing a search warrant in Darlimurla.

Three vehicles, two of which were stolen, were seized from that property – a Commodore SS V Redline ute, a HSV Clubsport and “a vehicle fitted with stolen SSV Walkinshaw [sic] sedan interior, front and rear bumpers from stolen vehicles, an engine from a six litre V8 Holden, stolen number plates and a surveillance device sweeper”, VicPol said in a media statement.

“The two stolen vehicles had their window VINs replaced, stamped floor VINs cut out and replaced, electronic control units replaced and engine numbers ground off.

“Police will allege those involved were rebirthing and on-selling stolen Holden vehicles, specifically Holden Special Vehicles (HSVs).”

In March 2023, three men were charged for their involvement in stealing 30 Holden and HSV cars around Melbourne.

Victoria Police alleged the thieves started targeting recent models worth between $50,000 and $120,000 in October 2022, placing the total value of the stolen cars at around $2 million.

Police have recovered 11 cars. Drugs, cash, two engines, a stolen transmission, and stolen registration plates were also seized.

Anyone with information on vehicle rebirthing is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 33 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

MORE: Trio charged over alleged $2 million HSV rebirthing racket