Vancouver – Vancouver Police made multiple arrests Tuesday after several downtown businesses were robbed by violent shoplifters.

“Commercial robberies are a continuing concern in the downtown core, and in other neighbourhoods throughout the city,” says Sergeant Steve Addison. “We’re working closely with merchants everywhere to clamp down on offenders, as an increasing number of thieves seem emboldened to use violence when committing their crimes.”

Incidents of note:

  • A 23-year-old worker was assaulted inside a grocery store on Davie Street after a man entered the store, pushed him aside, and went behind the counter to steal a carton of cigarettes around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Other staff members intervened, called 9-1-1, and held the man down until police arrived. The 34-year-old suspect was arrested for robbery and taken to jail by VPD.
  • Shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, a thief walked into a retailer on Robson Street and stole $326 in clothing. He then walked to a neighbouring store with the stolen goods and tried to get a staff member to remove the security tags, before entering a third store and stealing $144 in lipstick. When store security intervened, the man pulled out a folding knife and walked away. Witnesses called 9-1-1 and kept an eye on the 33-year-old suspect until VPD officers arrived and arrested him for robbery.
  • An employee at a vape store on Davie Street was robbed just after 7 p.m. when a 22-year-old man pulled out a box cutter and left the store with merchandise. The suspect fled, but the victim called police. VPD officers were able to locate and arrest the suspect at a nearby community centre.

“Each of these arrests occurred because someone called 9-1-1 immediately and provided real-time information that helped VPD officers locate and arrest the suspects,” says Sergeant Addison, adding that none of the three incidents appear linked.

Vancouver Police continues to work proactively with individual retailers, staff members, and business associations to identity and prevent shoplifters throughout the city. Between January 7 and January 10, officers on the city’s west side arrested 22 people and recovered $2,500 in merchandise during a clampdown along the Cambie corridor. Between January 27 and January 30, VPD officers worked with businesses in Renfrew-Collingwood to arrest 15 shoplifters.