Langley man arrested for cigarette thefts
A Langley man is in custody in connection with a string of cigarette thefts throughout Metro Vancouver.
The man appeared to target Costco stores in Coquitlam, Burnaby, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Saanich and Langford.
An investigation by the Greater Victoria regional crime unit found some 28 nearly identical incidents throughout B.C. last year.
Police say the suspect would allegedly watch people making large cigarette purchases at Costco and then follow them to their vehicles to see if they were left unattended after loading the cigarettes in. In total, more than $100,000 worth of cigarettes was stolen.
Once officers identified a suspect, they tracked him down and reportedly observed him smashing the window out of a vehicle in Nanaimo, then stealing about $3,200 worth of cigarettes that had just been purchased. Police followed him to the Costco in Courtney, where he was arrested.
Christopher Sharafi, 46, has been charged with four counts each of mischief under $5,000 and theft under $5,000, two counts of possession of stolen property and one count each of disguise with intent, possession of break-in instruments and failing to comply with conditions of recognizance.