New charges sworn against alleged cigarette thief

More charges have been sworn against the man police believe was stealing large quantities of cigarettes from Costco customers.

More charges have been sworn against the man police believe was stealing large quantities of cigarettes from Costco customers.

Langley resident Christopher Sharafi, 46, now faces 22 counts of theft, five counts of possession of stolen property and three counts of break and enter for a number major cigarette heists.

Sharafi was arrested in Courtenay in late January after members of the Greater Victoria Regional Crime Unit witnessed an incident firsthand.

Staff Sgt. Gary Schenk says the suspect “donned a disguise, smashed the window out of the vehicle and stole approximately $3,200 worth of cigarettes which the victims had just purchased at Costco.”

The 30 charges against the Langley resident are related to 23 similar thefts that occurred in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Saanich, Langford, Burnaby, Port Alberni, Campbell River and Richmond. The total value of cigarettes stolen in these incidents is estimated at $90,000.

Schenk says the investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be laid. Investigators are still trying to determine where the goods went after being stolen.

Sharafi remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in via video in Western Communities court on March 21.

kslavin@saanichnews.com