Samantha Li / Staff reporter

According to the government of British Columbia, the theft rate grew 10% from 2018 to 2019, furthermore, the stolen property rate increased 47.9% from 2018 to 2019. But recently a breakthrough was reported in an article in The Province that Vancouver police “arrested 130 people and recovered more than $37,000 worth of merchandise during a month-long investigation targeting ‘violent and prolific shoplifters’”.

The VPD worked closely with retailers for the four weeks of investigation. According to the reporter, VPD Insp. Rob Clarke stated that “This initiative was established in response to growing crime in the area. Last year in the downtown core, VPD saw a 260 percent increase in shoplifting incidents involving weapons such as bear spray, knives, needles, and guns, when compared to the previous year.”

Police investigated 250 shoplifting incidents. 130 arrests and 268 recommended criminal charges were made at the end.

Students and families are reflecting many positive opinions to this act by VPD.

“It’s always normal that people don’t really go to find the authority, they’d rather just let it go, which is the main reason that shoplifters grow more.” Sophie Lim, a sophomore year student from UBC commented. “And by doing this month-long investigation, VPD did impress me.”

$37,093 worth of merchandise was returned to merchants and 35 weapons were seized during this initiative towards the shoplifters, said the VPD.

A Gleneagle parent of a 16-year-old girl, Miya Xue, also said that “It seems like a small crime, but it can definitely create bigger tension and incidents including use of weapons and so on, which can cause further incidents for citizens and kids. I think VPD had a good response to it this time, they gave us surprise and confidence this time.”

When being asked about the future expectations, Sophie thinks “The more attention we pay into it, the fewer cases there will be. This time, the police did give all shoplifters a shot, but most importantly, it is about the daily regulation, we can’t have such ‘attack’ every 3 months. By increasing the normal day’s strictness level, the future will be brighter, I believe.”