A husband and wife duo were arrested recently in Vancouver for allegedly buying and selling a large amount of stolen property.
Vancouver Police say the couple, ages 74 and 69, functioned as a “predatory fence” by purchasing goods and items from drug addicts, who were stealing to support their habit. Police say they also purchased goods from professional thieves and organized retail crime groups.
The items were then resold to individuals from their home, or sent overseas, where it was further distributed to small retailers.
Police seized about $200,000 worth of stolen property from the couple’s home, along with a vehicle believed to have been used to transport the stolen goods.
A doctored Guess bag, with foil inside and metal plates, was allegedly used to steal thousands of dollars of jackets. A doctored Guess bag, with foil inside and metal plates, was allegedly used to steal thousands of dollars of jackets.
A doctored Guess bag, with foil inside and metal plates, was allegedly used to steal thousands of dollars of jackets.
The couple have no criminal record, but are well-known to police and are believed to have been operating this stolen property fencing operation for several years. They have both been released pending further investigation and for charges to be approved by Crown.
Vancouver Police say the amount of property seized would suggest that hundreds of crimes were being committed every month to fuel this business.
“If you purchase products that are priced too good to be true from a site such as Craigslist or at a second-hand store, bar or restaurant, the item is likely stolen,” says Inspector Earl Andersen. “Buying stolen property is a criminal offense. You are not only contributing to the problem, but you can be charged criminally.”
Anyone with information of an underground operation fencing stolen property is asked to call the Vancouver Police Anti-Fencing Unit at (604) 717-3220. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477, or download their mobile App at the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers website.
Some of the alleged stolen items: