A West Shore RCMP investigation into a cosmetics theft at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Langford has led to the discovery of a national crime ring.
Last month on July 7, West Shore RCMP issued a media release seeking the public’s help to identify two female suspects who allegedly stole over $3,000 worth of high-end cosmetics. The theft under investigation occurred at the Shoppers Drug Mart located at 300-2945 Jacklin Rd in Langford on July 3.
Upon further investigation, West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit was able to identify that similar thefts had taken place in Sidney and Saanich. Police say that both the shoplifting incidents in Sidney and Saanich targeted thousands of dollars worth of cosmetics at Shoppers Drug Marts as well.
Reviewing the video surveillance of the other two thefts, West Shore RCMP was able to identify the same two female suspects (pictured above) as well as one additional male suspect.
After some deeper research, officers were able to discover the identity of the male suspect, who had a residence in Markham, Ont..
“Our investigators determined that theft was being committed in our jurisdiction by suspects that did not live here. That’s when we contacted York Regional Police and sought assistance in our investigation,” said Cpl. Fred Ritchie, West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit.
York Regional Police monitored the address in Markham, Ontario and observed boxes filled with stolen items from all over Canada were being delivered. What started off as investigating a relatively simple theft lead to the uncovering of a massive national stolen goods trafficking ring and recovering over $250,000 of stolen property.
Officers say that among the items recovered were cosmetics, perfume, health care products, smoke alarms, electric hand tools and many others.
The investigation has linked stolen items to be from British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, which were all then shipped to Markham.
In addition to the value of the stolen property, police said they seized over $67,000 in cash as well.
According to a press release issued by York Regional Police, nine suspects have been arrested and charged, believed to be connected with the organized crime group.
Help us keep our community safe. If you have information regarding crime in the West Shore contact the West Shore RCMP to report it.