State trying to seize five high-end cars involved in Canadian street race
High-end sports cars sit in an impound lot in Surrey, British Columbia, on Thursday.
September 9th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

State trying to seize five high-end cars involved in Canadian street race

Would losing your Maserati for speeding be akin to paying a million-dollar fine for jaywalking?

That may be a question five drivers in British Columbia will soon ask themselves.

The five are among 13 owners of high-end sports cars who had their vehicles impounded last week after what Royal Canadian Mounted Police allege was a street race on a provincial highway in suburban Vancouver that reached speeds of 120 mph (200 kph). Police put the total value of the vehicles at $2 million.

Police fined each of the drivers, 12 men and one woman all under age 21, $196, but lacked evidence to pursue more severe sanctions, they said. They looked for other avenues to get their message across that street racing would not be tolerated.

“After speaking to witnesses and gathering information, police determined there was not enough evidence to proceed with criminal charges,” Superintendent Norm Gaumont, head of Traffic Services for the RCMP in the Lower Mainland, said in a press release. “With the criminal avenue closed to us, we decided to see if there was enough evidence to proceed civilly.”

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2011/09/09/dnt-canada-street-racing.ctv-network"%5D

So while some of the vehicles were returned to their owners Thursday, five others won't be back on the street any time soon.

"We are going to pursue forfeiture of five of the vehicles," British Columbia Solicitor General Shirley Bond said.

Police said the forfeiture action was warranted because it was clear the vehicles were used in a manner that posed a danger to the public.

“Based on the fact that they had been involved in street racing, that there was the potential for catastrophic injury or death, that their driving showed a complete disregard for the other motorists on the road,” police Cpl. Holly Marks told CNN affiliate CBC-TV.

Bond said only five cases are being pursued because official believe they have enough evidence to gain forfeiture in only those five cases, according to CNN affiliate CTV.

"In British Columbia, we expect people to behave responsibly on our highways," said Bond, whose office oversees the BC Civil Forfeiture Office, which brings forfeiture cases before the province's Supreme Court.

But Micheal Vonn, policy director for the BC Civil Liberties Association, says forfeiture of the pricey vehicles isn't warranted when there are no criminal charges involved, according to CTV.

"This is just an end run around the criminal process," she's quoted as saying. "There's a reason why we don't charge people $1 million for jaywalking. We expect a court to make a fair assessment of what is due in terms of violation or offence."

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Filed under: Automobiles • Canada • Crime
soundoff (570 Responses)
  1. Detroit Iron

    Real question is how anyone under 21 could afford these cars. Think daddy would adopt me?

    September 9, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      Canadian economy is doing great, everyone is driving these cars.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Hey, smart guy

      It's Vancouver. Instead of young, rich, Asian kids having parents buy them $1.3 million houses, they're getting condos for $600-800k and using the rest on exotic cars.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Eric

    The Gov't of Canada needs to get a fregin clue!!! So what's next? All DUI people get their cars taken, old people after the age of 75 have to turn their cars in, a person who hasn't slept for x hours and gets in an accident, someone texting or talking on a cell phone, and the list goes on and on – all these people will have their cars taken from them? There's hundreds of things while driving that can cause injury or death, intentional or not. Not a fair punishment at all. Go find something else to keep you busy!

    September 9, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mangusta

      Exactly! Where does it stop. 120mph for a lambo is nothing. It will bcome a day where for any reason the state will take away your property if it does not agree with what you do. For instance, if you run out of money and you can maintain your property the town could take your home because its an eyesore?

      For the chimp guy above: the death penalty??!!! really???!! What have you down wrong on the margin of the law or rules so we could look at what you deserve too...

      September 9, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian Paul

      Thank you! Don't ever give the government the right to take anything from anyone unless they are a drug dealer or a murder. Once you give the government the right to take away anything they start expanding on it as fast as they can. Anyone that would thinks any different is is a moron.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      If your caught speeding 50km over the speed limit you should lose your car forever. You are obviously a danger to society and your weapon (their cars) should be removed.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ViperGuy

      They paid the fine, no one was hurt. If someone was injured then it would be different. How can you change the rules mid stream? "I'm jealous because you can afford a Lambo and know how to drive it fast... Off with his head!!!"

      September 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Oh Yeah

    until you experience someone you love being killed in a crash because someone was racing this seems wrong but I say take their cars their license and fine them....you don't kill people when you jay walk.....

    September 9, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Mangusta

      you are right. But the question is what rights has the gov to fuill their pocket with the excuse of taking property? Can you fix a wrong with a wrong and make it right?

      September 9, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rizengrom

    Can you seize one for me?

    September 9, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. sh00tz

    Sounds to me if they were diving Honda's no one would want the cars...... interesting

    September 9, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Well, if they were driving Honda's at 120mph, there would not be much left to confiscate. Replacing the engine would be more expensive. 🙂

      September 9, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ted

    British Columbia is a PROVINCE, not a STATE !!!

    September 9, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. israel

    oh cmon really?? first off these kids are total pu$$ies they had cars that can go well over 120mph and they didn't.....FFS i've gone faster in much much less expensive cars than these, 130mph in a 03 lancer (not EVO) and 150mph in a swapped and built acura integra

    September 9, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Hey, smart guy

      Congratulations, you can speed in junker cars nobody outside of high school kids would ever care about.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      Sure you have... You guys who drive junk always BS, you did maybe 100 and quarter mile took you 16 seconds.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      First of all the police never clocked them speeding, this was reported by other motorist. How the hell do they know how fast these cars were going? Did they have radar in their cars? Ha ha.. They could have been going 180 for all we know or they could have been trying to keep it sane since there was other traffic around. In any case they shouldn't lose their cars if they were not prosecuted, it's just a money grab. A lot of Canadian drivers in cheap cars don't lose them when they speed so why pick on the rich kids?

      September 9, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • nottobad

      I have a BMW 335i that I have taken to 161, I don't think I have ever been on the interstate and done less that 100. These cars handle better at speeds of 120+ than any Honda will at 60. They stick to the ground and can still stop faster than most any other car on the road. I'm not saying what they did was right, but I don't think taking the cars away will do any good. If they currently own a high end car I don't think buying a new one will be a problem.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      nottobad. Does the superior handling help you react faster? I like going fast. I like cornering hard. Facts are facts. You can build a perfect machine that will go 0-1000 mph in .2 seconds, stop from 1000mph to zero in 20 feet, but it's only going to respond at the speed of the driver.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scott

    @chim chim......That is flat out ridiculous!

    September 9, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Keith

    That's funny considering British Columbia isn't a state, its a province

    September 9, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • brad from BC

      Ignorance of America again. Supprised they didn't say they confiscated high end dog sleds!

      September 9, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • peanutflower

      I applaud the government of BC for looking for other measures to take care of these idiots. The fines are meaningless to these irresponsible first-generation Canadians with no personal accountability and rich parents who are seriously misguided when it comes to money. What these kids were doing was incredibly dangerous. They drove in pairs and blocked off highways during rush hour so that they could get free lanes to race in. They raced through a dangerous tunnel. This has become commonplace in Hongcouver - I say take everything you can get from kids like these!

      September 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. v

    We should impound half painted/primed, weed wacker sounding, low riders illegals, gangsters, and wanna be freaks drive and race on US roads. First offense-loose the POS.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Guilty Liar

    death penalty for speeding, your a sick psycho.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chase

    Put a governor on the engine and track them via GPS for a year.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Garnet69

      Probably the sanest idea I have seen on this board....plus it would work. Rental car agencies do it all the time.

      September 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zaphod

      You mean put a Prime Minister on their cars.

      September 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LARS

    Normally I am opposed do the feath penalty but even I think it should be considered in these type of cases. Something has to be done to slow down todays youth. They play too many video games and watch all the 2 Fast movies, then think it is ok to emmulate these undesirable acts. Young people have to be taught that negative acts have negatve consequences. Giving several of these yungsters the death penalty will send them a signal that their behahior will not be tollerated.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Guilty Liar

      Sounds great, I think we should also torture children in primary school for lieing and stealing. It will get a message across at a young age.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      What an idiot you are Lars.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You sound familiar... aren't you the guy that used to work at the Gestapo a few decades ago?

      September 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scared

      I think we should start with you, your kids, and grand kids if you have any. Statements like yours mean we need to clean up the gene pool.

      September 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JeepJeep

    I think they found out that 1 of the cars was registered to Zdeno Chara. lol. But seriously, I don't understand how they can confiscate something if it was purchased leagally. When citizens take something that they don't like how it is being used, I'm pretty sure it is theft. Why are governments above their own governing?

    September 9, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. brad from BC

    DEAR AMERICA, Canada does not have States! BC (British Columbia) is a PROVINCE. We are your biggest trading partner and generally looked at as your little brother. Try to learn a LITTLE bit about us. Headlines like this do not help you image of being ignorant self-centred people!

    September 9, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Hey, smart guy

      Dear brad from bc, CNN does not represent the United States of America in any capacity. Also, there's more than one meaning to the word "state" and its definition applies better than the word "province" does. I suggest you look up definitions to both.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean Marc Law Student

      Brad is right. The word state does not apply. A province is not a state. Canada is a state. The meaning of 'state' has never applied to the provinces. It's different in the US because you have a concept of 'state sovereignty'. Provincial sovereignty is close, but not quite the same thing.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
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