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172 people arrested as police target ‘organized retail crime’ in Vaughan – Toronto | Globalnews.ca

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York Regional Police say 172 people have been arrested as officers target “organized retail crime” in Vaughan.

Police said in a news release Wednesday that they have laid 358 charges and recovered more than $150,000 worth of stolen property.

The Theft Project began on Dec. 6, police said, in collaboration with Vaughan Mills, the Retail Council of Canada and retail loss prevention officers.


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The main goal of the project has been to reduce financial losses for retailers in the community while also addressing retail crime and enhancing security, police said.

High-risk locations were identified based on historical data as well as information provided by retailers, police data and current cases, officers said.

“Shoplifting has transitioned from sporadic, small-scale theft to a highly organized criminal enterprise contributing to monetary losses in the billions and threatens the safety and security of our community members for both retailers and consumers,” police said.

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Among the charges announced Wednesday were 186 counts of theft under $5,000, four counts of theft over $5,000, 28 counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, six counts of resisting arrest, 11 counts of failing to comply, and assault causing bodily harm.

Police said the project is ongoing.

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