A number of high-value shoplifting thefts in central Alberta led police to discover a nationwide organized crime operation based out of Ontario, RCMP say.
RCMP in Red Deer, Alta., began investigating a theft at a local retail chain in early July. They quickly connected it with six other shoplifting thefts throughout central Alberta from the same chain, Red Deer RCMP said in a release Friday.
More than $20,000 in beauty products had been stolen, RCMP said.
They teamed up with other police agencies in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, as well as the Canadian Border Services Agency and linked the suspects back to an organized crime group based in Markham, Ont.
Seven suspects face 14 charges tied to theft and organized crime involving the Red Deer thefts, RCMP said.
More than a dozen people face additional charges from other jurisdictions across Canada and $250,000-worth of stolen property was recovered, the Red Deer RCMP said.
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.