North Van man arrested in connection with large scale West Vancouver mail theft

Police allege fraud, identity theft, connected to $130K loss

An alleged fraudster with a penchant for shopping at London Drugs, Holt Renfrew and Ikea has been arrested by West Vancouver police after allegedly racking up over $130,000 in ill-gotten gains.

West Vancouver police announced the arrest Thursday after a three-month-long investigation that began with reports of large-scale mail theft in West Vancouver.

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The investigation eventually linked a suspect to multiple instances of identity theft and credit card theft, said police, in which West Vancouver residents’ information was used to purchase goods and obtain cash.

The investigation began early in the year, said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, spokesman for the West Vancouver police, after the department began receiving widespread reports of mail theft throughout West Vancouver.

Surveillance video footage from some of the homes and apartment buildings where mail had disappeared led police to a suspect, who was placed under surveillance.

Police eventually arrested 41-year-old Ali Reza Serri of North Vancouver on June 25.

Serri now faces 24 charges, including fraud, theft over $5,000, 12 counts of theft or forgery of credit cards, mail theft, false pretences and four counts of property obtained by crime.

He also faces a charge of possession of crystal meth.

According to information contained in court documents, Serri is alleged to have either used the identities or stolen the credit cards of nine different people between Dec. 15, 2018 and May 6, 2019.

Serri is alleged to have used the personal information or credit cards to obtain cash, as well as to obtain goods including a Samsung Note 9 smartphone and a Thermomix appliance, according to information contained in court documents.

Goodmurphy said the alleged fraud involved “quite a range of goods.”

According to court documents, Serri is alleged to have used other people’s identities or credit to shop at several London Drugs stores as well as at Holt Renfrew department store, Ikea in Coquitlam and the Samsung Store.

None of the charges have been proven in court and Serri has not yet entered a plea to the charges.

Serri was to make an appearance in North Vancouver provincial court Thursday afternoon.

 

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