VicPD cruiser
(courtesy VicPD)

VicPD arrested 16 people for theft over a span of three days last week in a project aimed at stopping thefts at businesses in downtown Victoria.

“Project Magnet,” a VicPD pilot initiative, is aimed at combating theft and an increase in the level of violence associated with thefts from retailers, according to VicPD.

Officers worked closely with local loss prevention officers in a coordinated approach that targeted shoplifters at one retail business within a mall in the 1100-block of Douglas Street.

Of the 16 arrests, five people were also wanted on warrants and one person arrested was the subject of 12 outstanding warrants.

According to VicPD, the success of the pilot project will provide officers a model to apply to the wider business community in the coming months.

Officers are asking the public to report theft or disorder issues in an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of all those who use and access our downtown core.

“The downtown business community is thankful for this initiative by VicPD,” said Jeff Bray, President of the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

“Our local businesses have had a challenging year, and VicPD’s project to combat theft and the associated violence and disorder is a big step in welcoming community members back to shopping downtown,” added Bray.

“This project highlights the experiences of many of our downtown businesses, and we look forward to seeing VicPD around local stores in support of our business community.”

If you have information you would like to share regarding “Project Magnet”, VicPD are asking you to call their non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654.

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.