Surrey RCMP say a “holiday bait package” project has uncovered the city’s naughty and nice.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas the Mounties’ Property Crime Target Team (PCTT) conducted a project in two local malls with “somewhat surprising results.”
Police said PCTT investigators placed packages containing “name brand electronics and jewelry boxes in bags” from local merchants in areas around the shopping mall “such as the food court and seating areas.”
Plainclothes officers kept watch over the packages to see if any thieves would take advantage of the situation.
RCMP said that during the five-day project, three men were arrested for alleged theft of a bait package. The three suspects, police said, “had a history of property crime or related criminal code offences.”
Those men have all since been released to appear in court on later dates while the investigations continue.
But the project came with some good news, too.
Investigators said they were “pleasantly surprised by the number of Good Samaritans” who saw the unattended packages and turned them into a customer service booth or a security guard. Some “simply watched over the package in hopes of the owner returning.”
Police said “these simple acts of kindness” happened seven times throughout the bait package project.
“This is the first time our Property Crime (Target) Team has done a bait package project in Surrey,” said Staff Sgt. Mike Hall, acting pro-active enforcement officer.
“Only having three subjects steal the package compared to the seven individuals who did the right thing was quite refreshing, especially around the holiday season.”