Delta police say they stopped sale of medical equipment at inflated prices

DELTA, B.C. — Police in Delta, B.C., say it was "troubling" to catch two people this week allegedly reselling boxes of respirators and surgical masks at highly inflated prices.

The police department says in a news release that a constable found an online ad offering N95 respirators at $15 a piece, plus a $300 delivery fee.

The officer arranged a meeting to buy 60 masks for a total $1,200 on Thursday.

On Friday, police arranged to meet a separate vendor selling 3,000 surgical masks for $2,200.

Both sellers were given $500 bylaw tickets and voluntarily gave up the medical supplies to police, with the second seller relinquishing an additional 2,300 masks.

Delta police say they'll work with Fraser Health to determine how the masks can best be put to use.

British Columbia's Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issued an order under the Emergency Program Act banning the secondary resale of medical supplies and personal protective equipment on March 26.

"It’s troubling to see people trying to flout the ministerial order during this pandemic,” Delta police spokesman Cris Leykauf said in the release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press