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Police deploy mobile cameras after Global News report on violent shoplifting at Vancouver grocer

Click to play video: 'Caught on video: violent shoplifting incident in Vancouver' Caught on video: violent shoplifting incident in Vancouver
WATCH: Caught on video — Another violent shoplifting incident in Vancouver, just days after police arrested 130 people in a crackdown on the growing problem. Jordan Armstrong reports – Feb 25, 2021

A day after Global News reported on an alarming increase in violent shoplifting incidents at a Vancouver grocery store, police have stepped up their presence in the area.

Vancouver police confirmed Friday they had deployed their Public Safety Trailer, a mobile unit equipped with security cameras, outside the IGA at Robson and Richards streets.

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“The trailers serve as a deterrent in response to the ongoing violent shoplifters that are occurring in the area,” VPD Const. Tania Visintin said in an email.

Read more: ‘It’s the Wild West’: Vancouver grocery store owner says violent incidents out of control

“They are not used for active surveillance and the video is only reviewed if is required for an investigation. Footage recorded is not retained, unless it is needed for investigation.”

Click to play video: 'VPD launch ‘Operation Arrow’ to crack down on violent shoplifting and theft in downtown core' VPD launch ‘Operation Arrow’ to crack down on violent shoplifting and theft in downtown core
VPD launch ‘Operation Arrow’ to crack down on violent shoplifting and theft in downtown core – Feb 17, 2021

The trailers do not record audio, have infrared capacity or the ability to see through walls or clothing, Visintin added.

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On Thursday, store owner Anthony Sullivan described the deteriorating conditions for his staff as the “Wild West,” and shared disturbing video of the most recent incident which devolved into a brawl when staff attempted to stop an alleged shoplifter.

Read more: Man pleads guilty to robbery where downtown Vancouver shop owner was stabbed

Sullivan said managers and workers had faced bear spray, knives, batons and other weapons in recent months.

“It’s not one night or another night, it’s every single night,” he said.

Last week, Vancouver police announced the arrest of 130 people and the seizure of 35 weapons as a part of “Project Arrow,” a crackdown on violent shoplifting incidents in the downtown core.

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