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Vancouver police say they made 138 arrests and recovered approximately $37,000 in stolen goods over a two-week period in late April and early May.
Named “Project Barcode 2,” according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Vancouver Police Department, the shoplifting crackdown was a “continuation” of a three-week operation — Project Barcode — that took place in March.
The first operation involved VPD officers working closely with management, staff and security at stores throughout the city with the goal of identifying and arresting chronic and violent offenders.
According to the police, of the 217 arrests made during the March Blitz, 47 were criminals.
The VPD said that of the 138 arrested this time, 17 were repeat offenders.
Between April 24 and May 9, police said, Project Barcode 2 resulted in officers recommending 125 charges to Crown Solicitors.
Police said the operation resulted in the recovery of 12 weapons, mostly knives, and $36,540.83 worth of stolen goods.
“Our officers went undercover to locate and arrest thieves targeting retailers in Vancouver,” said Const. Tania Visintin in release.
“Violence and retail crime are still a major concern in Vancouver.”
After the first crackdown in March, police said incidents of shoplifting involving violence in the city had dropped by 45 percent in the first three months of the year.
The latest arrests were announced on the same day the federal government introduced Bill C-48, which it describes as a series of targeted amendments to the Criminal Code aimed at addressing issues with the bail system.
Most notably, the Bill seeks to extend the “reverse onus”, which requires people accused of certain offenses to demonstrate why they should be released on bail, instead of requiring Crown prosecutors to explain to the court Should the accused be kept in custody till trial. ,
Shoplifting is not one of the offenses for which the reverse onus is being proposed, but the government is seeking to introduce it in cases where people convicted of serious violent offenses involving weapons have been convicted of a new violent offense within five years. have been charged with crimes.
With files from Rachel Aiello of CTVNews.ca