Vancouver: Vancouver police have arrested five individuals and seized over $650,000 in cash, drugs, and property during a months-long operation targeting organized crime in the Downtown Eastside. The crackdown revealed stolen goods, including designer clothing, electronics, and everyday items like baby formula and over-the-counter pain medicine.

Police allege that organized criminals are exploiting “desperate and drug-addicted” residents to steal merchandise, which is then sold online at significant profits. The investigation, starting in March, traced stolen items from the streets of East Hastings to homes in East Vancouver. Notable arrests include a man and a woman in their 60s, found with $150,000 in stolen property and $155,000 in cash, and another couple in their 40s and 50s with $233,000 in stolen goods.

Further raids led to the seizure of a car, drugs, and $107,000 in stolen items from a 52-year-old woman’s home near Trout Lake Park. The suspects face multiple charges, including possession of stolen property and potential drug charges.

These arrests are part of Project Barcode, initiated in February 2023, which has resulted in 1,200 arrests and the recovery of $1.4 million in stolen property to date. Police highlight the significant impact of the underground market on local businesses and consumers, driven by the resale of stolen goods online.

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