$225,000 in stolen property seized in shoplifting operation: Fort St. John RCMP

Police say they have 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 closure operation,” Staff Sergeant Scott Watson, acting officer in charge of the Fort St. John RCMP detachment, said in a news release Friday.

“The results of this investigation will have a significant impact on the local property crime business in Fort St. John and the surrounding area.”

RCMP say the initial robbery occurred at a business near 96th Street and 93rd Avenue in the city, located about 800 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, on Jan. 6.

The suspect returned to the store on Jan. 27, police said, and was “suspected of shoplifting.” He left the store before officers arrived.

RCMP said they identified the suspect and executed several search warrants at his home on Feb. 1.

“A large quantity of suspected stolen property was located and seized,” said the RCMP news release issued Friday.

“In just a few days, frontline officers processed nearly 650 items seized following executed search warrants, with an estimated value of more than $225,000.”

They say no charges have yet been filed and police are still investigating the origin of the seized items.

RCMP say the man returned to the same store on Feb. 4, where police found him with several items suspected of being stolen. Police say the man is now facing charges of theft and obstruction after allegedly fleeing police during his arrest.

British Columbia court records show the man is in his 30s and had previously been sentenced to 12 months’ probation for a May 2023 assault in Fort St. John.

According to court documents, he is scheduled to appear in court again on February 12.

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