2 charged for PPE theft and resale in Vancouver

VANCOUVER Police are recommending multiple charges against two men who stole a large quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE) – including more than 6,000 masks – from a retirement home last week.

“Healthcare workers are on the frontline of this pandemic and they are putting their lives at risk every day. Having this vital equipment taken from them is very upsetting and frustrating,” said Constable Tania Visintin on Thursday.

Police believe Jesse Coutlee, 28, broke into the storage area at the Terraces on 7th seniors retirement residences in the evening of April 29.  He took several cases of face masks and hand sanitizer. Coutlee is seen on surveillance video loading the boxes into a black sedan with the help of an unidentified male. The vehicle then drives away.

An investigation ensued which led police to believe another male suspect was involved. Police also discovered that both men were selling the stolen PPE through social media.

Charges of break-and-enter and possession of property obtained by crime were approved against Coutlee by Crown counsel.  Charges against the second suspect have been recommended.

Police are reminding the public to call 9-1-1 if they see a crime in progress or suspicious activity.


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