A number of recent high-value shoplifting incidents in Red Deer led to the discovery of a nationwide organized crime operation based out of Markham, Ont.
In early July, Red Deer RCMP began investigating a theft at a local retail chain. Connections were quickly made to six other shoplifting incidents throughout central Alberta of the same retail chain, which exceeded $20,000 in stolen beauty products.
Working with a number of other police agencies in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, as well as the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Red Deer RCMP crime reduction team tied the suspects back to an organized crime group operating in Ontario.
Seven suspects face 14 charges for the crimes committed in Red Deer. The charges relate to theft and organized crime.
In total, more than $250,000 worth of stolen property was recovered from the crime group and more than a dozen people face additional charges from multiple jurisdictions across Canada.