Vancouver: Over 200 arrested, 35 weapons seized during pre-Christmas shoplifting enforcement

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The Vancouver Police have arrested more than 200 offenders during a month-long anti-shoplifting campaign in the downtown core.

Sergeant Steve Addison said “Business owners and their staff continue to struggle with prolific, and often violent thieves, who seem to think they can steal with impunity.”

“Since November 4, a dedicated group of VPD officers has worked directly with retail staff in the downtown core to identify and apprehend shoplifters. The results are alarming,” he added.

The Vancouver Police also added that the officers recovered $75,052 in merchandise and seized 35 weapons during the campaign.

“It’s troubling for our officers to see the same offenders – many of whom are living with complex social needs like drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness – repeatedly getting arrested for such low-level crimes,” Sergeant Addison said, adding that “Sadly, 60 per cent of the people arrested during the month-long campaign said they did not have a permanent place to sleep, and many told us they were planning to sell the stolen goods either online or in the Downtown Eastside to make a few bucks.”

The Vancouver Police also added that they continue to work closely with store owners and staff throughout the city to address concerns about rising retail thefts. Anyone who observes a crime in progress is encouraged to call 9-1-1 so officers can be immediately dispatched.

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