Police have arrested two men in connection with a rash of booze thefts at Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam liquor stores.
The alleged scam involved one man stealing expensive hard liquor before getting into a cab driven by an accomplice.
Most of the incidents happened at government liquor stores.
The stolen alcohol was later sold for profit, said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Vanessa Munn.
The thefts happened at liquor stores across the Lower Mainland, with 15 counts at Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam liquor stores.
Munn said bottles of Captain Morgan rum, Smirnoff Vodka and several varieties of whisky were taken.
Video surveillance recovered from the liquor stores helped to identify at least one of the men involved; members of Surrey RCMP Community Response Team (CRU) initiated an investigation into a series of thefts from liquor stores in Surrey.
“Through investigation, officers determined that the thefts were being carried out by two individuals allegedly working together to steal alcohol from liquor stores across the Lower Mainland region,” Munn stated in a press release. “One of the men was allegedly stealing merchandise, and the other man was allegedly using his taxicab to facilitate their movement from store to store.”
A total of 48 charges have been laid against one man from Langley and another from Surrey:
• Travis Emard West, 51, is facing 38 charges that include 26 counts of theft under $5,000 and 12 counts of failing to comply with an undertaking
• Gurmukh Singh Thiara, 54, is facing 10 charges that include four counts of possession of property obtained by a crime under $5,000, four counts of theft under $5000 and two counts of possession of a controlled substance