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