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Police say shoplifting started at new B.C. store 40 minutes after first opening

A new grocery store in Prince George, B.C., was open just 40 minutes when police responded to a report of a shoplifter. The RCMP logo is seen on the background for a news conference, in St. John's, Saturday, June 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Police say a new grocery store in Prince George, B.C., has been hit by a spate of shoplifting that began 40 minutes after it opened its doors for the first time.

The Buy-Low Foods store opened on Friday and police say that over the next three days a total of 12 shoplifting incidents were reported, involving 13 people and just over $450 in stolen merchandise.

An RCMP news release says two people were arrested and released with undertakings not to return to the store, while a third was taken into custody on charges of possession of a weapon, theft under $5,000 and failing to comply with a release order.

Police say officers will continue working with loss-prevention staff to curb shoplifting at the new Buy-Low.

RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Cooper says theft has become “a common problem” in most retail locations throughout Prince George.

Cooper says police are catching repeat shoplifters at numerous retail locations and many of the suspects in the Buy-Low incidents were known to police.

"Our downtown safety unit has been targeting it for the last two years, it seems to becoming more and more of a prolific problem that we're dealing with,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June. 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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