Fraser Valley – A number of individuals may be receiving coal in their stockings this year after being intercepted by the Chilliwack RCMP Community Response Team (CRT) during Operation Scrooge.

Over the past two weeks, the CRT partnered with more than 50 local businesses to crack down on retail theft throughout the community. Operation Scrooge focussed on prolific shoplifters and the seasonal increase in retail theft that businesses often experience during the holiday season.

Operation Scrooge utilized a community approach involving a partnership between the RCMP and local business partners, says Corporal Brad Rendall of the Chilliwack CRT. We did our part to make sure that thieves did not get away with stealing the holidays from our local retail community this year.

Some of the highlights of Operation Scrooge include:
  • Two males were arrested after fleeing from police in a vehicle during a theft the day before. Members located the vehicle the following day and arrested both individuals involved. The vehicle was impounded.
  • A female was arrested two nights in a row at two different locations. Over $2000 in product was recovered and returned to the retailers.
  • Two suspicious males were stopped for a Motor Vehicle act offence and found to both 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.
  • A known property offender was observed 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.

In total, Operation Scrooge resulted in more than 20 people arrested and facing criminal charges, 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, says Tony Hunt, General Manager, Loss Prevention London Drugs Ltd.

This program has been an extremely positive experience for us. We appreciate what you are doing and how you are helping make a difference, Ryan Boissonnault – Team Lead Best Buy.

The Chilliwack RCMP are reminding everyone to be vigilant this holiday season and remember:
  •  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.

The best crime is one that never occurs at all. Take preventative measures to keep your items safe.

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