More than 100 charges laid in shoplifting spree, three suspects still wanted

KANATA — Members of a shoplifting ring are facing more than 100 charges while Ottawa police search for more suspects.

“Over the past month, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has charged 11 people and laid more than 100 charges in relation to more than 50 shoplifting incidents at local business retailers across the city, namely the LCBO and Shoppers Drug Mart,” the OPS released in a statement today (Oct. 30).

“The Ottawa Police continues to work in collaboration, through education, with Ottawa area retailers to minimize incidents of retail theft,” said Insp. Tim Hodgins, with the Ottawa Police Criminal Investigations Directorate. “This partnership has been key in helping our investigators identify and arrest suspects.”

Richard Ellis is still wanted by police. Courtesy the OPS

Richard Ellis is still wanted by police. Courtesy the OPS

On Sept. 4, West Criminal Investigations looked into a series of brazen thefts from LCBO and Shoppers Drug Mart in the west end where the suspects, sometimes three or four people at a time, would enter the store, take items and leave without paying for the merchandise.

“On Sept. 9, three Shoppers Drug Mart stores were targeted in the west end on the same evening and a quick thinking frontline officer provided key information that resulted in a search warrant in the 2800 block of Cedarwood Drive a few days later,” the OPS said. “Stolen merchandise from both Shoppers Drug Mart and the LCBO was recovered. Links were made by the Alternative Response Unit (ARU) and our crime analysts to many LCBOs and Shoppers Drug Mart stores throughout the city.”

As a result of the investigation by West Criminal investigators, multiple charges were laid, including Theft, against Aron Yardon, 30-years-old of Ottawa; Alicia Sherman, 23-years-old of Ottawa; Andrew Bailey, 32-years-old, of no fixed address; as well as two 16-year-old males and one 15-year-old male.

Vithaya Chuop is still wanted by the police. Courtesy OPS

Vithaya Chuop is still wanted by the police. Courtesy OPS

Further investigations in October by the East Criminal Investigations into similar incidents and the same core group of offenders as the September incidents, have also led to numerous charges, including theft, conspiracy to commit theft, assault, breach of judicial release being laid against two 16-year-old males and a 15-year-old male – these three young offenders are the same as those charged by West. A 17-year-old female and a 15-year-old female were also charged.

On Oct. 25, the Robbery Unit arrested and charged a 32-year-old male with two counts of robbery. Bailey was charged in connection with robberies in July 2019 at an LCBO on Walkley Road and one on Woodroffe Avenue. Bailey was also charged with 16 counts of theft from various LCBOs across the city from early July to mid-August.

Wanted by police are: Richard Ellis, 35-years-old, of no fixed address; Vithaya Chuop, 33-years-old of Gatineau; and Linda Sherman, 56-years-old of Gatineau.

Anyone with information on the current whereabouts of the three wanted people is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service West Criminal Investigations at 613-236-1222, ext. 2666. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at