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Thief targeting bulk cigarette buyers after purchases nabbed: B.C. police

Cigarettes at a factory.

Reuters

Mounties have arrested a man they believe was responsible for a six-month cigarette-theft crime wave in Metro Vancouver, southern Vancouver Island and the Interior.

Police say a man appeared to be targeting store owners who had just made large cigarette purchases at Costco stores in Saanich, Langford, Nanaimo, Burnaby, Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Kamloops.

The suspect would break into the vehicles of people who had just purchased thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes.

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Police identified a suspect and began following the man and say officers watched him put on a disguise, break into a vehicle and take $3,200 worth of cigarettes that the driver had just purchased.

Forty-six-year-old Christopher Sharafi of Langley, B.C., was arrested at the scene.

Sharafi has been charged with 13 offences, including four counts each of mischief and theft and two counts of possession of stolen property.

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