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. Pliny

    OK...so we all know not to drive in Canada. If the local Mounties need some extra $$$...you are a target for their extortion.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tankles

    I see they are safely being stored behind a small wooden fence, easily viewable by anyone with a camera. Maybe they won't be seized, they'll just "go missing"...

    September 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brody

    Pffffffff...... A Ferrari "racing" at 120mph is like a Honda Civic "racing" at 50. I've gone faster than that on my way to the grocery store for a gallon of milk.

    I could understand seizing the vehicles if they were going like 180 and killed a bunch of people. But they didn't.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chriz

      You saw that in the instructions book?

      Yup, you're right... let's just wait next time, when they really kill somebody... (sighs)

      September 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brody

      No, you're right.

      While we're at it, if you come to a rolling stop at a stop sign you should have your car confiscated because you *could have* killed someone. If you're going 10mph over the speed limit you should have your car confiscated because you *could have* killed someone. If you run a red light you should have your car confiscated because you *could have* killed someone. Forget to turn your headlights on at night? Hasta la vista, car. YOU COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE! Cause a minor car accident because you weren't paying attention for a split second? Kiss your death machine goodbye, YOU COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE! Jaywalking!? They should confiscate your legs becuase you could have killed someone!!11!one!

      You must be a model citizen that obides all laws to a T.

      :SIGH:

      September 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    The police in Ontario have a law in place where any person caught driving 50kmh /31mph over the speed limit has their car confiscated, an immediate roadside licence suspension and a $10,000 fine

    September 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. phast

    I came out of Vancouver once on 47 headed nortg and hit 548 MPH. It was awesome.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Watch your step

      Yeah, that cliff comes out of nowhere.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon23

      That is impressive, considering the land speed record is held by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at 267 MPH.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    Comparing street racing to jaywalking is beyond ludicrous. A jay-walker endangers only himself, but a street racer places everyone nearby in mortal danger. If you want a fair comparison it would be more reasonable to equate street racing with assault with a deadly weapon. Take the cars and never let these kids drive in BC again. Never.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrey

      @Paul: Jaywalking presents just as much danger to drivers, as well. A human body weighing 100-200lbs+ crashing through the windshield can easily hurt or kill people inside the vehicle.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      Not to mention the fact that the cars may swerve to avoid them and end up hitting someone else.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      Jaywalking can lead to fatal car accidents, as drivers will attempt to avoid a pedestrian to avoid manslaughter charges. What they were doing is far closer to jaywalking than it is to purposely attacking someone with a deadly weapon – though any reasonable person would infer that it is really somewhere in between.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AceQueRyda1

    I raced my Turbo RX-7's (both of them) all the the time. Ain't none of you gonna do a damn thing about it but type on this board while they are at work. People, you drive at your own risk.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.I.P.

      We'll be sure and put that zinger on your tombstone.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      "ain't none of you gonna". I'm guessing you're a well-educated individual.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • I help special people

      You sir are a moron and no one cares about your sh!tty oil burning Mazda... go watch fast and the furious and dream of sucking vin diesel off while Paul Walker tickles your balls...

      September 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. conoclast

    Under 21 but driving a $100,000 Lamborghini? Something just doesn't compute here; drug dealing isn't THAT lucritive, is it?

    September 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Hill

      Yes it sure is. Being a Pimp makes tons of cas as well.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fig1024

      it's the Chinese kids. What happens is that many rich people in China need a way to secure their money from the Chinese government, so they ship it all off to Vancouver, along with their kids. Also, many Chinese officials are corrupt and take bribes, but they can't easily accept the bribe in China – so they just tell people to send money to offshore accounts so Chinese government can't detect it. They all decided that Vancouver is a great place for their money so they built a whole community there

      September 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • ckgreentea

      These are under-aged spoiled Chinese brats, whose parents are uber rich and sent them overseas to live by themselves. These kids showed no regards for the safety of the other drives on the road. What's worse was they also had no remorse for their behavior when they were stopped by the police, and posed for pictures when their cars were being towed so they could brag about it online.

      September 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich

    When you replace the law with the spirit of the law, justice is doomed.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    Gee...Maserati, Lamborghini, Aston Martin....high end cars. In British Columbia...hmmm isn't there something called BC bud??? Could the cars and the product be related?

    September 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jon23

    M question is, how can all these people under 21 years old afford a $200-$400,000 cars?

    September 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • WheredidIgowrong

      Same question here. Please someone, please share their secrets. I got bills to pay.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colossus

      THEIR PARENTS maybe, genius??

      September 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sophie

    Chinese kids, *sigh*, they could barely drive.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. OneTwo

    Just suspend their licenses. They will continue to drive and then punish them further. No need to take the cars away. Plus why does someone have to be a drug dealer to have a nice car? Envy is a stinky cologne.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WheredidIgowrong

    21 yrs old owning cars like that.....one question...........How? As a parent I would never buy my child any cars like that unless they buy it themselves. So if not rich parents, please share the secrets.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. purnellmeagrejr

    FOr those attributing this to BC Bud – herb generally makes you drive slower

    September 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
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