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Richmond RCMP shoplifting crackdown recovers $17.5K of stolen food, clothes

Half of the suspects entered Richmond using the Canada Line, says police.
More than $17,494 of alleged stolen merchandise was recovered following a crackdown on retail theft in Richmond.

More than $17,494 of alleged stolen merchandise was recovered and 35 suspects were arrested after four retail theft busts in April and May.

Of the 35 arrested during Richmond RCMP's "boost & bust" operations, 27 did not live in Richmond and 18 of them used the Canada Line to enter Richmond, according to Richmond RCMP.

One individual was caught twice within 30 minutes.

Police are recommending charges against 23 of the suspects and four youths agreed to participate in the Youth Intervention Program.

The recovered merchandise was predominantly food and clothing, police added.

According to Richmond RCMP's community safety report from May, 180 shoplifting incidents were reported in April, which was more than double the incidents reported in April 2023.

Frontline officers were included in these latest operations, which helped yield "significant results," said Staff Sgt. Paula Maan, acting officer-in-charge of Richmond RCMP Frontline Operations.

She added the element of organized crime is often common in retail theft.

"In many cases, the types of food and clothing items we recover are suggestive of the intention to re-sell," Maan explained. 

"We remain committed to safeguarding our local businesses and ensuring Richmond remains a secure place for everyone."

Local businesses and residents are encouraged to continue reporting suspicious activities to police.

With files from Valerie Leung

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