Instead of going for money and jewelry, it looks like thieves are now grabbing masks and hand sanitizer. Vancouver Police announced on Thursday, May 7 that they've laid multiple charges to two men caught stealing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from a retirement home and reselling it online.
In an email sent to Narcity, the Vancouver Police revealed key details of what these two men got up to and how they were able to catch them.
According to the police, a man named Jesse Coutlee broke into the storage area of a retirement home. The home has been identified as the Terraces On 7th.
28-year-old Coutlee grabbed several cases of face masks and hand sanitizer. The police reviewed the surveillance footage and saw Coutlee loading the boxes into a black sedan while being helped by an unidentified male.
The vehicle then drove off. This happened last week, according to the release.
The police then carried out an investigation that led them to believe that another male suspect was involved in the theft.
The cops also discovered that the two men were selling the PPE they stole through social media.
In the statement, the police describe what they stole as a "large quality of personal protective equipment," including over 6000 masks.
In the end, Vancouver PD was able to catch the thieves and arrest them. Charges of break-and-enter and "possession of property obtained by crime" were approved by the Crown.
These charges have been laid towards Coutlee. Multiple charges against the second suspect have also been recommended, although they have not been identified in the statement.
Constable Tania Visintin from the Vancouver Police Department reminded the public that health care workers are on the frontline of this pandemic and they are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis.
"Having this vital equipment taken from them is very upsetting and frustrating," she added.
But stealing and reselling these essential items in one go? That's not an occurrence we hear about every day.
The police are once again reminding the public to call 911 if they see suspicious activity.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.