Ottawa police arrest Montreal man accused of stealing Lexus SUV

The logo gleams on the chrome grille of an unsold 2007 Lexus RX350 sports utility vehicle parked in front of a Lexus dealership in Frederick, Colo. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Ottawa police say a Montreal man is facing charges after officers stopped an allegedly stolen SUV early Thursday morning.

Police have been warning of increasing thefts of high-end vehicles in Ottawa, with more than 35 so far in 2021. There were 200 vehicle theft reports in Ottawa last year involving mostly Lexus and Toyota SUVs and trucks. Five vehicles were stolen from a Kanata neighbourhood in a single night in January, police had said.

Police said Monday that patrol officers spotted a Lexus SUV being driven erratically in the St. Laurent Boulevard and McArthur Avenue area last Thursday and followed it briefly before pulling the driver over.

The vehicle had not yet been reported stolen. Police believe it was destined for the Port of Montreal.

Joseph Leon Desbois, 42 , of Montreal is facing charges including theft of a motor vehicle, mischief to property, possession of breaking and entering tools and obstructing police.

He remains in custody.