The Delta Police Department is using the recent arrests of four alleged property crime offenders to highlight the work of its patrol support team.
On Wednesday, April 3, members of the department’s patrol support team — a group of plainclothes and uniform officers who “aren’t part of our regular patrol platoons, so have more time to focus on problem areas, or specific suspects, rather than going from call-to-call,” DPD public affairs manager Cris Leykauf said in a press release — were conducting surveillance on two suspects linked to a problem residence associated to drug and property crime.
The suspects were travelling between Delta and Surrey, and officers observed them shoplift items from a store on 72nd Avenue in Surrey near the Delta border. Shortly after, police intercepted and arrested the two suspects, also seizing break-in tools and a weapon. Police were able to recover stolen sporting goods which were returned to the store.
Two days later, on Friday, April 5, the team was working at Tsawwassen Mills when a security guard indicated there was a suspicious man inside a store whom he believed was actively stealing merchandise. Officers entered the store and formed a suspicion that the man had put a number of items of clothing into a backpack.
The man exited the store and attempted to leave the mall, but instead was promptly taken into police custody. A search of the backpack revealed clothing, believed to be stolen, along with other miscellaneous items suspected of being stolen from another store in the mall. The stolen merchandise was returned to the stores.
Minutes later, patrol support team officers located and arrested a suspected accomplice of the man who had just been arrested. When police searched the suspect, they discovered high-end beauty products and clothing. All the items were confirmed to be merchandise from the mall.
Both men were confirmed to have travelled into Delta to commit these crimes, and were identified as prolific property crime offenders.
In a public survey the DPD conducted late last year, the prevention and detection of property crime was one of the top issues identified by respondents, particularly in terms of areas where the police can improve their response, and the department is shining a light on the patrol support team’s recent success to show how police are working to address those concerns.
“The patrol support team is an important pillar of Delta Police’s approach to providing service to our community,” Leykauf explained. “We know how frustrating property crime can be for the public. We want them to know we’re continuing to focus on hot spots like problem residences, and that officers are doing everything they can to ensure these offenders know they’re not welcome here.”