After further investigation of the seized exhibits, it has been determined that the $33,000 in government issued cheques are not limited to Canada Emergency Response Benefits, but also include GST cheques, income tax refunds, as well as cheques issued by other organizations.
The investigation is ongoing. Surrey RCMP are working with the applicable government agencies to ensure that the impacted victims are notified, and can receive their benefits as soon as possible.
TWO individuals were arrested and $33,000 in stolen Canada Emergency Response Benefit cheques recovered by Surrey RCMP officers with the COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team (CCET).
Members of CCET who proactively patrol Surrey to inform, educate and prevent contraventions of public health safety orders were on their patrols when they noted three suspicious vehicles associated to a residence in Cloverdale. The vehicles were allegedly displaying fake license plates and fake temporary operating permits.
On April 25, just after 9 p.m., CCET members attempted to stop one of the vehicles as it pulled into the driveway of the residence, but the vehicle drove into the backyard in an attempt to evade police. The driver of the vehicle fled on foot while a female passenger was arrested without incident upon exiting the vehicle. The driver, a man in his 30’s, was later arrested and taken into custody, after a brief foot pursuit.
Further investigation of the vehicle led to the seizure of a large quantity of stolen property from several Lower Mainland jurisdictions, including $33,000 worth of stolen Canada Emergency Response Benefit cheques, and numerous pieces of fraudulent identification.
The arrested male suspect has been remanded to custody, and the female suspect has been released with an appearance notice for a later date. Charges have not been laid; however, the investigation is ongoing with police now processing the large quantity of seized exhibits.
“This team was created by the Surrey RCMP in collaboration with the City of Surrey to address all aspects of public safety as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said acting Community Services Officer, Inspector Wendy Mehat. “Not only are we looking out for safety aspects like social distancing, but keeping our eyes out for criminals who would seek to take advantage of opportunities presented by the pandemic.”
Since its launch at the end of March, the COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team has conducted more than 12,000 proactive checks of businesses, faith-based locations, event locations, recovery homes, parks and beaches in Surrey.