Vancouver police say a three-month operation targeting violent property crime has resulted in 26 arrests and recommendations for more than 150 charges.
“Since December, our patrol officers have been working closely with our partners in retail security around the city,” said Const, Tania Visintin
“We have a common goal, and that is to target violent property crime offenders and protect retailers from financial loss.”
Police have recommended charges including breach of probation, theft from auto, theft under $5,000, possession of break-in equipment and possession of stolen property to Crown prosecutors.
The crackdown is good news for retail operators like Gidu Nam of the 888 Mini Mart, who had to take time off work in October after he was attacked in a robbery.
The robbery left Nam with stab wounds in both arms, and he said the knife came perilously close to his eye at one point.
“Somebody came in, and no hesitation, no information, turned to me and said ‘give the money,'” he said.
“He stabbed me, throw me.”
Chun said the experience has left him rattled and a little nervous every time someone enters the store.
Chun, who has run the store for 20 years, said he’s losing hundreds of dollars a year to theft.
The crackdown followed a three-week sting project targeting downtown shoplifters, and came after Global News reported growing concerns from retailers about violent shoplifting incidents.
On Wednesday, Vancouver police released 2019 crime stats which showed a drop in the most serious categories of violent crime, and a five-per cent increase in property crime.