Canadian Security Magazine

Alleged thief arrested with 34 winter coats on SkyTrain in Vancouver

The Canadian Press   

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Police say a 35-year-old man has been arrested after being found riding the SkyTrain in Vancouver on Christmas Day with a rack of 34 allegedly stolen winter coats.

A video posted on social media shows Metro Vancouver Transit Police removing the rolling rack of coats from a carriage and escorting a man off the train at Waterfront Station.

Const. Amanda Steed, media relations officer with the Transit Police, says an attendant at Joyce-Collingwood Station first alerted police about the passenger around 5 p.m.

Steed says the investigation is now in the hands of Burnaby RCMP, who believe the coats were stolen from a business in Metrotown mall on Monday afternoon.

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She says the 34 coats on the rack were worth an estimated $6,100 and the man believed to have stolen them is known to police.

Steed says although the TikTok video of the incident was set to Christmas music and likely meant to be lighthearted, the alleged theft was “unfortunately” tied to a deeper and “darker” issue of poverty and addiction.

“I’ve seen a lot of unusual things in my career, but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone attempt to steal or successfully allegedly steal an entire rack of coats but then try and transport them on the SkyTrain,” Steed said.

Burnaby RCMP spokesman Cpl. Michael Kalanj said police responded to multiple alarms at a business in the Metrotown mall around 2:30 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Kalanj said officers entered the business but didn’t find anyone inside, and much of the mall wasn’t open on the holiday.

“Before you know it, we got a call from transit (police) saying that they had an individual under arrest with a whole bunch of jackets,” Kalanj said. “I’d say this call in particular was odd.”

He said a 35-year-old man was arrested and released on conditions as the investigation continues, and charges have yet to be approved by the B.C. Prosecution Service.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2023.


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