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West Shore RCMP arrest 27 for alleged shoplifting over 6-week period

In 2023, West Shore RCMP also found a 29% increase in shoplifting from the previous year
West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit officers arrested 27 people for alleged shoplifting over six weeks. (Courtesy of the West Shore RCMP)

West Shore RCMP arrested 27 people for alleged shoplifting over the final six weeks of 2023.

Police investigated 514 reports of shoplifting under $5,000 on the West Shore last year, which represents a 29 per cent increase.

In response to this increase, the West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit focused on addressing shoplifting in the last quarter of 2023.

Thousands of dollars worth of goods were returned to stores over the six-week period, according to police. In one instance, officers identified an individual who was a suspect in multiple thefts from the same store. Police said the individual was suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of high-valued tools and electronics.

The suspect was identified as a Chilliwack resident and was arrested by police there.

West Shore RCMP officers spent each week working with various local stores over the enforcement period.

A loss prevention officer within the store would identify individuals shoplifting and relay the information to a police unit covertly positioned outside the store. Once the shoplifting suspect exited the store without paying for the goods, they were arrested.

“This was a successful outcome for both police and West Shore retailers. Partnering with loss prevention officers was key in being able to identify shoplifting taking place within the store, we thank all stores that collaborated with police,” West Shore RCMP Cpl. Danny Grieve said in a news release.

Of the 27 arrested, nine met the criteria for restorative justice and were deferred away from the criminal justice system through the program. Five individuals were banned from the stores, and 13 are set to appear in court for theft-related charges.

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About the Author: Ella Matte

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