An RCMP initiative dubbed Operation Scrooge thwarted several would-be shoplifters over the last two weeks.
The RCMP’s Community Response Team (CRT) partnered with more than 50 local businesses to crack down on retail theft.
A focus on prolific shoplifters led to several arrests.
“We did our part to make sure that thieves did not get away with “stealing” the holidays from our local retail community this year,” said Chilliwack RCMP Cpl. Brad Rendall.
A female was arrested two nights in a row at two different locations, with more than $2000 in products recovered and returned to retailers.
Two males were arrested after fleeing from police in a vehicle. Officers tracked down the vehicle the following day, impounding it and arresting both suspects.
A known property offender was seen entering a hardware store and purchasing tools contrary to his court-ordered conditions. He was arrested and has been charged with one count of Breach of Release Order.
Two suspicious males were stopped for a Motor Vehicle act offence and were found to be in breach of a no-contact order with each other. A search of one male located trafficking quantities of suspected cocaine, a replica firearm and other weapons.
In total, Operation Scrooge resulted in more than 20 arrests, the recovery of thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise and the execution of 14 outstanding arrest warrants.
“The cost of shoplifting is substantial but our biggest concern is for the safety of our employees and customers,” said Tony Hunt, General Manager of Loss Prevention at London Drugs Ltd.
The Chilliwack RCMP are reminding everyone to stay vigilant and remember the following tips.
– Do not leave valuables, phones or other items in your vehicle.
– Keep shopping bags or other purchases in your trunk or out of sight
– Report any and all suspicious activity or events to police.
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