Friday, February 23, 2024

Police make 109 arrests in ‘Project Lifter’ crackdown on theft in downtown Victoria


VicPD conducted an eight-day operation in downtown Victoria trying to catch suspects who have been stealing merchandise from nearby businesses. 

As a result, 109 arrests were made and police were able to retrieve over $29,000 in stolen goods. 

Operation ‘Project Lifter’ was executed by various arms of VicPD’s force between Monday, November 27th and Tuesday, December 5th in collaboration with some of the businesses who have been victims of chronic shoplifting. 

Police say this operation was conducted as a response to businesses downtown who have been regularly reporting shoplifting and asking VicPD for some form of intervention.

One such business was the London Drugs located on Yates Street. 

“Coordinating with VicPD on this project helps to address some of the issues our retail employees face every day,” said Tony Hunt, General Manager for London Drugs Loss Prevention. 

“Violence and threats are an increasing aspect of retail theft. Effectively dealing with these crimes is of interest to the public, as everyone pays for retail crime, and all of us know someone who works in retail who is impacted by retail crime.”

“We are grateful for the police support, and we need to continue this type of collaborative enforcement involving police, government, our courts, corrections, social services, and retailers,” Hunt concluded.

In addition to the number of arrests and goods recovered, VicPD wanted to highlight that during the operation, four individuals arrested multiple times, of the 109 individuals arrested, 21 had outstanding warrants and in total, those arrested had 1,103 previous criminal convictions, including 186 violent offences. 

“The results of this project are staggering, and clearly indicate that even though there has been a decline in shoplifting reports, retail theft continues to be a huge problem in our city,” said VicPD Chief Del Manak.

Police claim that officers with VicPD’s Outreach Section are working with arrested individuals to provide information on access to housing, substance use and other community supports in an effort to break the cyclical nature of these crimes. 

Victoria Buzz Staff
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

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