40 arrested in Vancouver commercial break-ins amid COVID-19 outbreak

Forty suspects have been arrested and charged over the past few weeks in connection with break-and-enters at Vancouver businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, police say.

While property crime has declined overall, police said they’ve recorded a spike in commercial break-ins after physical-distancing measures were implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Shuttered stores along Robson Street and other areas have boarded up their windows, as a major drop in foot traffic has raised the prospect of crimes of opportunity.

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Police are asking businesses to upgrade their locks, move merchandise away from windows, use window shutters, and increase outdoor lighting in an effort to discourage break-ins and theft.

— With files from Simon Little

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