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Police raid in Port Coquitlam nets huge cache of luxury goods

Luxury purses, watches, sunglasses recovered in Coquitlam RCMP investigation — police say alleged organized crime group cased family-run restaurants to gain access to homes
0111 Coquitlam RCMP stolen items
Coquitlam RCMP are asking people to come forward and identify their property after police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of luxury items from an undisclosed location in Port Coquitlam.

Coquitlam RCMP believe they have shut down an organized crime group that had been breaking into homes across the Lower Mainland to steal luxury personal items.

Three people have been arrested after a search warrant was executed Nov. 18 at an undisclosed location in Port Coquitlam, where police found hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of personal property including expensive purses, jewelry, watches and sunglasses.

Media spokesperson Const. Deanna Law confirmed that a report on Nov. 12 of a break and enter prompted the investigation by the department’s Prolific Target Team. Police subsequently obtained a search warrant, and, after cataloguing the recovered items, hope to return the objects to their rightful owners.

“We may have more people come forward after they identify these items,” said Law, who said people don’t always report thefts but once finding their item might be willing to make a report, which could lead to further charges.

Already, the investigation has led to the arrest of a 57-year-old woman, a 30-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man; however, more information about the location of the search warrant or the names of those who have been arrested aren’t being revealed, Law said, because charges have not yet been approved by the Crown.

In a statement, Sgt. Keith Schendel, officer in charge of the Coquitlam RCMP Prolific Target Team, said police believe they have uncovered an “organized break and enter group.”

“The group was often targeting the private residences of business owners who were away at work. Specifically, the group primarily focused on restaurant owners across the Lower Mainland who owned smaller, family-run diners. We believe the crime group would attempt to identify the owner and where the owner lived in order to break into their house,” Schendel stated in a press release.

Anyone who has been a victim of a break and enter in the Metro Vancouver area between 2018 and 2020 is asked to check the Coquitlam RCMP web page. 

If you see something that you recognize, you will be asked to provide specific details that only the rightful owner would know. Police would like to remind the public that wrongfully attempting to claim items could lead to charges. 

If you believe you may have been a victim, you can review the stolen goods that have been put on the Coquitlam RCMP home web page (recovered stolen items) under recovered stolen items File: 2020-30794. 

Those who can identify any of the items are asked to send an email to [email protected]. Investigators will be reviewing each claim assuring the item ends up in the correct owner’s hands.

In addition, Coquitlam RCMP are reminding residents to secure all valuables and, if you have a reliable operating home security system, to learn how to use it.