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$225K in stolen goods seized in shoplifting scheme: Fort St. John RCMP

Fort St. John RCMP say they've uncovered a shoplifting and reselling operation and recovered items worth an estimated $225,000. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)
Fort St. John RCMP say they've uncovered a shoplifting and reselling operation and recovered items worth an estimated $225,000. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)

Police say they've uncovered a shoplifting and reselling operation in Fort St. John, and recovered items worth an estimated $225,000.

"This appears to be a fairly elaborate fencing operation," said Staff Sgt. Scott Watson, acting officer in charge of the Fort St. John RCMP detachment in a Friday news release.

"The results of this investigation will have a significant impact on the local property crime trade in Fort St. John and [the] surrounding area."

RCMP say the initial theft took place at a business near 96 Street and 93 Avenue in the city, located about 800 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, on Jan. 6.

The male suspect returned to the store on Jan. 27, police say, and was "believed to actively be shoplifting." He left the store before officers arrived.

RCMP say they later identified the suspect and executed multiple search warrants at his home on Feb. 1.

"A large amount of suspected stolen goods were located and seized," said the Friday news release from RCMP.

"Over a few days' time, frontline police officers processed the almost 650 seized items from the executed search warrants with an estimated value of over $225,000."

They say charges have not yet been laid, and police are still investigating the origins of the items they seized.

RCMP say the man allegedly returned to the same store on Feb. 4 where police found him with several suspected stolen goods. Police say the man is currently facing charges of theft and obstruction after he allegedly ran from police during his arrest.

B.C. court records show the man is in his late 30s and was previously sentenced to 12 months of probation for a May 2023 assault in Fort St. John.

He is next expected to appear in court on Feb. 12, according to court records.

RCMP are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact police.