Police bust theft-ring suspects in Woodstock

·3 min read

Woodstock Police Chief Garry Forward credits good communication and a keen eye by retailers for the recent arrest of three people and recovery of thousands of dollars of stolen goods in Woodstock.

Following the arrest of three men in Woodstock on July 5, Woodstock Police Force and other forces seized up to $78,000 in goods believed stolen by a theft ring hitting locations in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Forward said Woodstock Police Force officers responded on July 5 to reports of a suspicious person and theft complaint at a Connell Road business.

He said retailers in Fredericton informed Woodstock-area retailers about suspicious activity in their stores, leading to the theft of valuable items.

Using that information, Forward explained, Shoppers Drugs in the Carleton Mall notified police about a suspicious individual.

Woodstock officers responded immediately, resulting in the arrest of one person.

The situation escalated from that point, leading to the arrest of two more people and the discovery of a cache of stolen goods.

Forward said police, using subsequent information, scoured the area, intercepting an involved vehicle, leading to the arrest of two more people and seizure of a rental SUV and cube van.

Two days after the arrest, Woodstock Police Force executed a search warrant on the SUV and cube van. They discovered significant quantities of stolen tools, perfumes, cologne, and electronics with an estimated $78,000.

Police broke that down to $46,000 in tools, $17,000 for perfume and cologne, and $15,000 in electronics.

Forward said police believe those arrested were involved in large-scale thefts from hardware stores and drugstores between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in early July.

He said the Fredericton Police Force laid charges against the three arrested, who remain in custody. Further charges are pending from other police agencies in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Forward said details about the arrested individuals had not been released as yet, as the investigation continues. He said that all three are from out of province.

Forward said police forces in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia communities continue to reach out for information as they conduct investigations in their districts.

Forward said a police checkpoint on Connell Street at the same time as events unfolded on July 5 was unrelated to the suspicious-person investigation.

He explained Woodstock Police Force and Public Safety officers established a planned public-safety checkpoint focused on distracted driving and other issues.

Forward said the ongoing investigation then became the priority of the officers involved.

The chief said July 5 arrests and July 7 recovery of stolen items serve as an example of a collaborative effort by multiple forces and several retailers.

“The community of Woodstock should be very proud of themselves,” he said. “This is an example of how well it can work.”

Forward said the Woodstock Police Force members thank the New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety, the New Brunswick Sheriff’s Office and the Fredericton Police Force’s Fredericton Police Force Forensic Identification Section for their assistance.

Police ask anyone with information about the persons or vehicles involved in this investigation to contact the Woodstock Police Force at 1-506-325-4601, wpf.admin@nbpolice.ca, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, to remain anonymous.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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