Bust of retail theft operation results in over $100,000 forfeited to civil forfeiture

Surrey, BC – As a result of a successful investigation by the Surrey RCMP’s Property Crime Target Team (PCTT), a large retail theft operation has been shut down and a sizable amount of offence related property has been forfeited by the BC Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO).

In March 2017, Surrey RCMP’s PCTT began an in-depth investigation into the sale of stolen merchandise on online marketplaces. Officers identified and arrested two individuals who were allegedly stealing select branded merchandise from multiple clothing stores and then allegedly selling the stolen merchandise online. Search warrants were executed on a condominium located in Surrey, a rented storage unit located in Maple Ridge, and a vehicle believed to be used to transport the stolen goods. A large amount of merchandise and other stolen goods were recovered with an approximate value of $122,000.

In April 2017 the Surrey RCMP Asset Forfeiture Team (AFT) referred the offence related property to the BC Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) for review. In July 2018 the Surrey RCMP AFT received notice from the CFO indicating that the condominium and vehicle were successfully forfeited and that the net proceeds paid into the Civil Forfeiture account were approximately $102,000.

Alan Smith is now charged with several offences including Theft Under $5,000, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000, Assault a Peace Officer, Obstruct Peace Officer, and Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime. Kimberly Gascon is now charged with Theft Under $5,000. Both individuals are still awaiting trial.

“Civil forfeiture complements police efforts to curb significant property criminals in their communities and ensure people feel safe in their homes,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The scale of this particular forfeiture should serve as a warning to those pursuing similar activities in Surrey.”

‎”Seizure of offence related property is an excellent tool for police to remove the profit incentive for organized criminal networks to commit offences in our communities,” says S/Sgt Mike Hall Acting Pro-Active Enforcement Officer. “Our Asset Forfeiture Team works cohesively on many files with many different investigational units and this is a great outcome for the team after all their hard work.”

B.C.’s CFO works to undermine the profit motive behind unlawful activity by taking away tools and proceeds of that activity. The vast majority of cases the office pursues have links to drugs, gangs and organized crime. Proceeds fund the forfeiture program and support local crime prevention activities in communities throughout the province.

Anyone with more information about retail theft operations in their community is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers if you wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or www.solvecrime.ca.

File # 2017-26644

Surrey RCMP

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