During a 10-day project that targeted crime near shopping malls earlier this month, 18 files were generated, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) says.
The APD on Wednesday (Dec. 15) reported the results of its campaign “Project Blitzen v.2,” which ran Dec. 3 to 12.
The project targeted theft from shopping centres and other retail outlets. Patrol officers partnered with more than 20 stores owners, management and loss prevention officers.
“Businesses that have been able to remain open continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions, and retail theft adds another challenge to these already trying times,” the APD said in a press release.
In one file, police used a “bait bike” on Dec. 7 in an area where an increase in bicycle theft had been reported.
Police said the bait bicycle was stolen within five minutes of locking it up at a bike rack, and the suspect was arrested.
In another file, officers located a man fleeing after committing a theft. The suspect was arrested and found to be the subject of an outstanding B.C.-wide warrant and was in possession of a large quantity of drugs and cash.
Police said the campaign resulted in multiple arrests and the interruption of numerous theft attempts.
In addition to charges for theft, arrests were made related to breach of conditions, drug trafficking an prohibited driving.
The APD said officers were able to identify local property offenders, arrest repeat offenders and recover stolen property.
The department says property crime is the most frequently reported crime in Abbotsford.