Burnaby police targeting ‘chronic’ shoplifting at Metrotown mall

The Burnaby RCMP targeted shoplifters at Metrotown, as stores have been seeing a spike in incidents during closing time.

Cpl. Mike Kalanj told CityNews that mounties spent two evenings at the mall earlier this month, and recovered nearly $7,500 worth of stolen merchandise.

Kalanj said store employees are typically frightened or instructed not to intervene with shoplifters, but many had noted “chronic shoplifting” around closing time.

“Speaking to these stores at Metrotown, they were explaining that this is just the time that happens — at closing there recently — they had people just running in and grabbing what they could and taking off. So our community response team just thought, ‘this is the best time to get as much as we can out of short period,'” said Kalanj.

Police say six people were arrested over the two evenings, one of whom, a 38-year-old Vancouver man walked out of a store with $2,600 in high-end athletic clothing still on the hangers.

“One of the individuals is related to 113 different theft files,” said Kalanj. “And they just keep coming back. So it’s like a revolving door. So we do our best, but we can’t catch them every time.”

Kalanj said the 38-year-old suspect was likely stealing the clothes to sell.

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