Herbal store targeted by break-in bandits

Richmond RCMP are investigating a brazen break-in that occurred around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday at a Chinese herbal store in a strip mall at 4640 No. 3 Rd., just south of Cambie.

Police were called to the scene by a witness who reported a robbery taking place at the store.

The bandits broke through the glass at the front of the store to get at the herbs, some of which can be worth more than their weight in gold. The break-in occurred during store hours and two of the three employees present suffered minor injuries.

A year ago, local Mounties were dealing with dozens of break-ins that had plagued Chinese herbal medicine stores since the summer of 2012.

Four arrests were made in January 2013 in connection with earlier herbal store robberies. The incidents brought the Richmond Chinese business community, the Richmond RCMP and the City of Richmond together, and local businesses were urged to implement stricter security measures to discourage further break-ins.

The perpetrators of this latest break-in are believed to have escaped prior to police arriving on the scene but the RCMP hopes that the central location of the mall means that there will be witnesses.

“The mall was fairly busy around the time of the robbery and we know people saw the suspects (so) we are hoping those witnesses will come forward to assist in this investigation,” said Richmond RCMP. Cpl. Stephanie Ashton.

“We will have Mandarin speaking officers available to speak with anyone who has information about this robbery.”

If you have any information about this robbery, please contact the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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