The RCMP say they’ve arrested two people after recovering $33,000 worth of government-issued cheques that were allegedly stolen from several places in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.
The Mounties in Surrey say the cheques include Canada Emergency Response Benefits, GST cheques and income tax refunds, in addition to cheques issued by other organizations.
They were recovered by the RCMP’s COVID-19 compliance and enforcement team, which conducts patrols to educate people about and prevent contraventions of public health safety orders.
The Mounties say in a statement they recovered the cheques following a search of a vehicle on Saturday that was allegedly displaying fake licence plates and operating permits.
They allege the vehicle drove into a backyard and the male driver was arrested following a short chase on foot, while a female passenger was arrested without incident.
Charges have not been laid, however the investigation is ongoing.
The male suspect has been remanded in custody and the female suspect has been released with an appearance notice for a later date.
Since its launch at the end of March, the compliance team has conducted more than 12,000 checks of different places including businesses, faith-based organizations, parks and beaches in Surrey, the RCMP say.
“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,” Insp. Wendy Mehat, acting community services officer, said in the statement released Wednesday.