After a number of calls and some direct discussions with local retailers suffering shoplifting issues, Ridge Meadows RCMP sprung into action last week (March 8-14).
As a result of the enforcement blitz six individuals have been arrested, two of whom are known to police as prolific shoplifters.
One arrest recovered $1,300 worth of merchandise.
The detachment’s uniformed community response unit (UCRU) launched the project with the intent of heightening the observation, identification, and apprehension of local shoplifting subjects.
Targeting high level shoplifting areas, police officers worked on scene in plainclothes and coordinated with local loss prevention officers (LPO) to identify alleged thefts as they occurred.
Shoplifters who are not arrested on scene by an LPO typically evade criminal prosecution as they cannot always be identified with surveillance video alone.
Insp. Wendy Mehat said police need to use their valuable resources in ways that ensure the most success.
“Applying citizen and business concerns is one way we can respond effectively, and so we wanted to answer the calls of our local businesses and support them with this targeted project.”
Cpl. Tana Goode, who heads up the UCRU team, said building relationships, such as those with local LPOs, is integral to the squad.
“The message we want to get out is that police are out there, even if you don’t see us. If you shoplift in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows you will be caught.
“Our business community will not be taken advantage of.”
The enforcement blitz occurred over multiple days last week and is ongoing.
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