2 people caught reselling N95 and surgical masks in Delta: police
Published Friday, April 3, 2020 5:54PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- Delta police say they have caught two people who were trying to resell boxes of N95 and surgical masks at inflated prices.
An officer with the city's crime reduction unit, which usually focuses on stolen property, was recently searching through online ads when she found someone looking to sell N95 masks. The constable reached out to the seller and arranged to buy some of the masks for $15 each on April 2. The seller also charged a $300 delivery fee.
"The seller, a Burnaby resident, showed up to the pre-arranged location driving a luxury vehicle," Delta police said in a news release. The officer told the seller he was being ticketed $500 for operating without a business licence. Police seized 60 masks from the seller, which he had been trying to hawk for $1,200.
"Our Crime Reduction Unit follows crime trends, and it’s troubling to see people trying to flout the ministerial order during this pandemic," said Cris Leykauf, spokesperson for Delta police.
Police met with the second vendor on April 3 and arranged to "purchase" 3,000 surgical masks for $2,200. This seller was also handed a $500 bylaw ticket.
The B.C. government recently introduced measures to ban the resale of food, medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Both sellers voluntarily relinquished the masks to police, with the second seller relinquishing an additional 2,300 masks," police said.
Police said they will be working with the Fraser Health Authority to figure out how to best distribute the masks.
In March, a Port Coquitlam family was fined for reselling masks at marked-up prices.
At the time, Mayor Brad West said during his time as mayor, he had never seen anything so "egregious, so irresponsible, so selfish and so motivated by greed at a time when these supplies are needed by the health professionals who are putting themselves on the line for all of us."