Double Vancouver police takedown on Robson St. caught on camera
VANCOUVER -- It's a reality many retail employees face regularly: shoplifters making off with any products they can get their hands on.
Wednesday night, two different alleged shoplifting incidents prompted two Vancouver Police Department takedowns, all caught on CTV News Vancouver cameras.
The first happened around 7:15 p.m. – witnesses described a chaotic scene as police chased down and tackled a man in front of the Tesla store on Robson Street, between Burrard and Hornby streets, adding it appears he had run out of the nearby Victoria's Secret location on the corner of Burrard and Robson.
One witness told CTV News Vancouver he heard the suspect yelling "I was just doing what I was told."
The second incident happened a block away, outside the Muji storefront, half a block west on Robson. There, witnesses said the takedown was in response to another alleged shoplifting attempt.
CTV News reached out to the Vancouver Police Department for information about these incidents Wednesday night.
On Thursday, media relations officer Sgt. Aaron Roed confirmed in an email that police had arrested a 40-year-old man with no fixed address for shoplifting at Victoria's Secret. Charges of theft and obstruction are being presented to Crown, and the investigation is ongoing, Roed said.
The VPD spokesperson also said police are investigating two separate shoplifting incidents at Muji. Police arrested a 32-year-old man with no fixed address for shoplifting, and are investigating him for a robbery at the same location that occurred earlier in the day Wednesday, Roed said.
The man was arrested for theft, robbery and failing to comply with a probation order. Roed said he remains in police custody.
"Vancouver police are working hard in the downtown core targeting criminals who are stealing property from multiple retail stores," Roed said. "We are working with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association to find the stores which are being hit the hardest. VPD will be continuing these target teams over the holiday season.”
Coincidentally, both takedowns happened on the same day police made public their recent recovery of pricey stolen goods - including cognac, designer purses and haute couture - from an East Vancouver home.
Police moved in on Nov. 27 after getting a tip that something was amiss in a house near Victoria Drive and East 49th Street.
Room after room was filled with merchandise from designers like Coach, Michael Kors and Karl Lagerfeld. Officers found dozens of bottles of cognac, including Hennessy XO worth $305 each, as well as fine wines and scotch.
Merchandise was neatly displayed with price tags and is worth an estimated $130,000 in total. Two people have been arrested and police will recommend theft-related charges.
"This is a fence. It's a black market retail operation," said Roed at a VPD event showcasing the seizure. "People get information on how to go to this house to buy stolen property at a discounted rate."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's St. John Alexander and Norma Reid.