Three Melbourne men have been charged by police after a months-long investigation into the alleged theft of more than 30 Holdens.

    Victoria Police allege the thieves started targeting recent Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) 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.

    Rebirthing is an illegal process where stolen vehicles are fitted with identification parts (VIN plates, etc) from a damaged or written-off version of the same car, to allow the stolen car to be resold with a new identity.

    Although illegal, it’s also quite common. In the past few years a number of rebirthing syndicates have been broken up after targeting everything from Porsches to Subarus – and Victoria Police says there are more operations in its sights.

    A 32 year-old man from Clayton, a 28 year-old man from Newborough, and a 32 year-old Kangaroo Flat man have been charged with a range of offences, including handle stolen goods.

    They’ll appear in court in March, June, and May respectively.

    “The wider ramifications of this kind of crime can ripple through to the entire community – from someone who can’t get to work or get their kids to school because their car’s been stolen, to insurance premiums being raised for everyone to cover the costs of vehicle theft,” said Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Jarrod Turner, Vehicle Crime Squad.

    “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,” he said in a statement.

    “There are a number of businesses and operations currently on our radar, so if you are acting illegally or profiting from rebirthing vehicles, parts or scrap metal, you can expect a visit from us.”

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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