Similar to many other major cities, Vancouver, Washington has been experiencing a surge in retail crime in recent years.
In a town hall meeting focused on public safety in March, business owners spoke passionately about the dangers they were facing, with some saying crime was the worst they have ever seen it.
Statistics show that Vancouver’s overall crime rate has actually dropped between 2020 and 2021, but violent crime has increased, particularly downtown, where robberies were up by about 12 percent.
Broken windows have increased by 40 percent since 2019, and the city is witnessing an estimated four random assaults per day and an uptick in violent shoplifting incidents, according to police.
In response, Vancouver police partnered with multiple retailers and their LP teams in east Vancouver on June 28 and July 20, focusing explicitly on retail theft.
One June 28, police were able to arrest three individuals in four hours. On July 20, they made eight arrests and seized two vehicles for search warrants and the recovery of stolen property in eight hours.
Those arrested were charged with either Theft II and/or Theft II, and additional charges included possession of a stolen vehicle, forgery, violation of a protection order, and the apprehension of multiple wanted individuals.
The Vancouver Police Department said it will continue to work with retailers throughout the city to conduct retail theft enforcement emphasis and deter this criminal activity.