Man with 37 prior convictions released from custody in Vancouver

Mar 30 2023, 8:55 pm

A man with 37 prior convictions who Vancouver police say threatened staff with a knife at multiple Vancouver dollar stores before making off with stolen merchandise has been released from custody.

The information wasn’t part of a major headline in a release from the Vancouver Police Department. Instead, it was included in a report we covered yesterday about Project Barcode, a shoplifting crackdown over a few weeks.

In the report, Vancouver police highlighted three notable incidents that all included suspects who had been released from custody and, in some cases, had very violent backgrounds and prior convictions.

Many are discussing this aspect of the police report online due to BC’s problem with repeat offenders.

The first case the VPD highlighted involved a man with 37 prior convictions dating back to 2015 who brandished a knife to rob multiple dollar stores in Vancouver. He was charged with uttering threats and possessing a weapon but was ultimately released from custody.

VPD also highlighted a case where a man threatened to kill staff at a downtown clothing store before leaving with stolen merchandise. He was arrested a short time later, taken to jail, and charged. VPD mentioned that this man was arrested four times during Project Barcode but has been released from custody.

The last case VPD outlined involved someone who stole $1,100 in merchandise from a hardware store in Vancouver. He threatened security at the store with a machete. He was arrested and charged with robbery but has also been released from custody.

For context, it’s important to note that it isn’t up to the VPD to keep criminals behind bars; that’s the responsibility of the criminal justice system.

While some significant changes were announced in November regarding the topic of repeat offenders, many members of the public don’t think the system is working.

On Twitter, a thread about the prior convictions portion of the Project Barcode report highlights ongoing frustration regarding the BC criminal justice system.

In one response, someone tagged BC Premier David Eby saying, “Please stop this. We need to enforce laws and keep citizens safe.”

Another user was a bit more straightforward, tweeting, “this city f**king suckksss.”

Amir AliAmir Ali

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