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. Scarf

    Yea man. Death penalty for speeding dude.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    Woah, slow down there Stalin. Jumping from a $200 ticket to execution? Really?

    September 9, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Vern

    Since I'm sure these cars belong to "Daddy" and could be from another country, Wondering what kind of hell is all ready being paid by these children for dishonoring the family.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes, I'm sure that their parents will force them to drive Camaro's from now on. Oh, the pain, the pain, how will they survive?

      September 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Allan

    Canada doesn't even have a death penalty for murder, so there sure as hell won't be one for speeding. Perhaps there should be one for making stupid comments though.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. LARS

    If they would cut the head off of 2 or 3 opf these automobile terrorist it would teatych them to s l o w down. The police should use chainsaws to do it. Young people would respect the law then.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Person5

      Or they could just use a chainsaw on you so we wouldn't have to read your idiotic comments...

      September 9, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Scared

      You need to do some learning! Since you have a computer, look up the definition of Terrorist before you spew rhetoric like this.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You are a very entertaining dude, perhaps your talents would be better utilized writting dialogs for B rated horror films.

      September 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ViperGuy

    They should give the death penalty for leaving stupid comments.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jean Marc Law Student

    If the Crown does not have enough evidence to prosecute criminal charges, they will not be abe to seize the car for auction purposes. They don't even have enough evidence to prosecute the speeding tickets. It's all eye-witness testimony; completely unreliable.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. ed jones

    First, generically, I think the headline is referring to the "state" trying to consifiscate the cars....not specifically the Province of British Columbia. There is a distinction here.

    Secondly, come to the Province of Ontario. This wouldn't even be a discussion. Anyone caught doing over 150KPH (not MPH) automatically loses their car at the side of the road (the tow truck is called and presto, your car is GONE....forever). And you get a ride in a black and white to the nearest clink where you are charged with street racing.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean Marc Law Student

      Provided you can prove it. That seems to be the real issue here. The Crown will have their hands full with the wealthy owners of these cars and their attorneys.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Michael, Chapel Hill

    You go Charlotte NC, some of the cars on the road are REALLY FAST; though they look old. Those speed demons have souped up engine and parts thanks to Nascar mechanics.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. lara

    Anyone wonder how five guys 'all under 21 years of age' can own $2 million worth of cars?

    September 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • zooni

      Daddy or drugs. One of the two.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. DGS

    BRITISH COLUMBIA IS A PROVINCE NOT A STATE.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • brad from BC

      they were dog selds, not sports cars:)

      September 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. jeff

    Can the author of this article get their head out of their bum.
    Canda is comprised of provinces and territories.....not states....
    typical american ignorance of anything non-american
    and you wonder why the rest of the world laughs at america now.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • brad from BC

      back to my igloo! they were dog selds, not sports cars:)

      September 9, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      so my buddy was rebuilding an old charger and needed some parts which he found online in georgia. he phoned and ordered and when it came time for shippping information the lady asked 'Canader...what the hell do ya need them there auto parts for in canader'.....my buddy said 'look lady i've got some sick dogs and can't use my dogsled so i'm gonna have to get a car workin'...and the woman thought he wa serious and went on to ask him about the use of dogsleds and what types of houses people live in...hilarious!

      September 9, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. scott

    as usual the police want these cars just like a car used in drug deal who ends up buyin the cars the police at auctions you hear about just they know so i guess we will give the police more gifts they dont deserve

    September 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pocketbrando

    Since when is British Columbia a state?

    September 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. RON PAUL 2012!

    This is going to go real well with Canadians. They've already had it with their government. This is fuel to the fire.

    September 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
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