Dozens Arrested In Law Enforcement For Vancouver Police Shoplifting

Weapons thefts, such as knives, needles and bear spray, have increased five-fold since 2019, Vancouver police said.

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Nearly three dozen people were arrested in a crackdown for theft by Vancouver police over the weekend.


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Police have faced an increase in violent robberies in the city center in recent years, Sgt. Steve Addison of the Vancouver Police. There have been 844 cases of violent theft citywide this year through Oct. 15, an increase of 12 percent from the 752 cases during the same period last year.

Thefts of weapons such as knives, needles and bear spray have increased fivefold since 2019, putting shop owners and staff at risk.

Commercial thefts have also increased 126 percent over the same time period, costing retailers and businesses thousands of dollars each day, VPD said.

“After a series of violent encounters, many tell us that they do not feel safe going to work,” said the spokesman, Sgt. Steve Addison. “That’s why VPD has stepped up shoplifting law enforcement.”


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Over the weekend, police arrested 32 people and recommended 71 criminal charges. Police also recovered stolen property worth nearly $ 18,000.

In one incident, a man and a woman stole 47 pairs of pants from a Robson Street clothing store on Friday.

A staff member called 911 and followed the suspects until police arrived and arrested the couple. The stolen merchandise was returned to the store.

The 44-year-old man, described by police as a “chronic thief” had already breached five court orders for previous robberies. The woman also violated a court order prohibiting her from entering the store, police said.

Police also reported recent incidents of shoplifting with weapons.

In one incident, a man brandished a gun and escaped with a box of donuts from a 24-hour grocery store on Sunday.


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The employee called 911 and officers arrived just after the man left. Using security video, officers were able to identify the man as a 30-year-old chronic shoplifter with nine prior convictions since 2017. He was later arrested for theft.

In another incident, a security guard at a dollar store was threatened with a butcher knife after a person was asked to pay for the merchandise. The man was arrested for threatening and assaulting with a weapon.

Nearly half of the people arrested for shoplifting this weekend told police they planned to sell the stolen goods on the black market.

Police say anyone who witnesses a shoplifting incident should call the police as soon as possible.

“We know that when people report crimes to the police, we are able to stop the offenders and hold people to account,” Addison said.

More to come …

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