MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Three people have been charged in connection with Project Magnet, which targeted large-scale thefts from retail locations across southwestern Ontario.

Stratford police say a 50-year-old London, Ont. woman would travel to retail location like Shoppers Drug Mart, Indigo, Best Buy, SportCheck, Home Sense and Staples, among others, in various municipalities where merchandise was then stolen.

Police allege the suspect would steal from six to 10 stores per day, an average of six days a week, sometimes travelling up to 1,000 km a day to reach different outlets with a similar product.

Those goods were then allegedly trafficked to others at various locations.

As a result of the investigation, the suspect's vehicle was seized and homes in London and Oakville were searched, resulting in the seizure of an estimated $100,000 in stolen property.

The London woman, as well as 44-year-old man and 42-year-old woman, both from Oakville, have been jointly charged with:

  • trafficking in stolen goods over $5,000
  • possession of property obtained by crime for the purpose of trafficking over $5,000
  • conspiracy to commit and indictable offence

Stratford police say the investigation stemmed from a prior case in which the same London woman was charged in connection with retail theft in Stratford.

They are also thanking OPP, Halton Region police and London police for their assistance in the investigation.