VicPD makes 23 arrests, seizes nearly $14K in stolen items during shoplifter blitz

VicPD makes 23 arrests, seizes nearly $14K in stolen items during shoplifter blitz

Victoria police made 23 arrests and recovered $13,972 in stolen merchandise during it’s second round of Project Lifter, which targets violent and repeat retail theft offenders. 

Operation Project Lifter was created in response to ongoing concerns from local businesses about regular retail theft, increased violence when staff attempt to intervene and the impact this has on business operations and staff safety.

The enforcement blitz took place between Feb. 9 and 11.

Officers from VicPD’s Patrol Division and Outreach and General Investigation Sections worked with retail loss prevention staff to identify and arrest violent and chronic shoplifters at 13 retail stores in Victoria. 

Police made 23 arrests during the operation, recommending 22 charges for Theft Under $5,000 and one for Theft Over $5,000.

Officers also recovered $13,972 in stolen merchandise.

Additionally, police said one person was arrested twice during the three-day project and four others were arrested during VicPD’s previous Project Lifter blitz in December 2023.

Officers gave those arrested information on access to housing, substance use, and other community supports in an effort to break the cyclical nature of these crimes, VicPD says.

READ MORE: ‘These are complex social issues’: VicPD tries different approach in shoplifting blitz

Project Lifter was funded by the Special Investigations and Targeted Enforcement (SITE) program – a three-year pilot aimed to increase police capacity to collaborate on new initiatives and supplement police resources for targeted enforcement on addressing violent, repeat offending.

The funding for SITE comes from the Provincial Government’s Safer Communities Action Plan.  


Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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