Police have raided a family home, suspected to have stolen toys, which were being sold to Steveston parents on Facebook.
The house, in the 4700 block of Steveston Highway, received a visit from Mounties around 8 a.m. last Tuesday (Oct. 1). Boxes of toys were removed from the property.
Police believe many toys that have passed through the home were sold to parents via the Steveston Kid Swap and Shop Facebook page.
"The mother was part of the Facebook group," said a neighbour who witnessed the raid. "Everything she would sell on the page would be brand new items, so people think they're stolen items sold for a discounted price."
Richmond RCMP confirmed the home (just west of Railway Avenue) had been raided as part of an ongoing investigation into charges of theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property.
Richmond Fire-Rescue was also brought in on the case, which means there may also be a hoarding issue and a violation of housing bylaws, said Cpl. Stephanie Ashton, RCMP media relations officer.
"This isn't just a story about a mom shoplifting to care for her kids," she said.
Pictures of the raid, which were posted on the Swap and Shop Facebook page (and shortly after taken down) lead to a flurry of calls to RCMP from worried parents concerned they bought, and are now in possession of, stolen goods.
"They're worried they might lose the Christmas presents they bought for their kids and that they can't afford to buy new ones," said Ashton.
She assured the parents Richmond RCMP will not be going to people's houses and repossessing the toys.
"If I had one message to give people it would be this, when you buy online and the deal seems too good to be true, you are probably dealing with someone who has obtained those items through crime," said Ashton.
She has set up an email contact for anyone wishing to provide information in relation to this investigation at Richmond_Tips@rcmpgrc.gc.ca More details cannot be released until charges are laid.
© Copyright 2013