Ontario man and woman charged in connection with high-value retail thefts in Lower Mainland

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A man and woman have been charged in connection with multiple high-value retail thefts committed in several Lower Mainland cities.
The Surrey RCMP Community Response Unit (CRU) investigated a complex shoplifting scheme, which had occurred over a six-month-period.
Fifty-one-year-old Nicoleta Rusu and 39-year-old Emil Marian Stan of Ontario have been charged with multiple counts of Theft Under $5,000 and Theft Over $5,000 as well as one count each of Possession of Stolen Property over $5,000.
The suspects allegedly committed high-value thefts from major retail outlets, utilizing sophisticated techniques to conceal the items and remove them from the stores without detection. Some of these methods involved the use of devices to block security alarm systems. The items stolen included high-end fragrances and athletic clothing, with an approximate total value of $53,000.
Surrey CRU linked the thefts occurring in Surrey to similar thefts in both Abbotsford and Langley, BC; and through investigative techniques, officers identified two suspects. On February 20, 2024, Surrey CRU arrested two people in Langley.
“Retail theft is a significant concern to businesses across Canada and specifically in the Lower Mainland,” said Staff Sergeant Nigel Pronger, North Zone Commander-Community Response Unit. “The value of the items stolen is a clear reflection of how our businesses are experiencing significant losses at the hands of professional thieves, added Pronger.”
In October 2023, Surrey CRU hosted a collaborative meeting with several stakeholders, and major retail outlets. A second meeting was held on March 13, 2024, with a continued focus on building solutions to reduce retail theft and safeguard public safety in retail spaces for shoppers and staff in Surrey. This meeting included the Surrey Board of Trade, Downtown Surrey, Newton, and Cloverdale Business Improvement Associations, officials from City of Surrey, and several major retailers.