In Vancouver on Dec. 15, Lynda Stokes visited the Downtown Eastside Street market, also known as the “Binners Market,” for the first time in. While she was shopping, she came across a vendor who was selling a bike that was stolen from her earlier in the year. Stokes, who called the police after the vendor asked her to prove it was hers, told the Vancouver Courier that she was not only appalled to find her bike there, she was surprised that people shop at the Binners Market knowing that many of the goods for sale are stolen. According to Stokes, the market doesn’t have the best reputation, which she learned after her experience in December.
Market co-ordinator Roland Clarke stated that stolen items occasionally do get into the market. Due to its open air nature, Clarke said it is difficult to monitor because of the frequency of cash deals. In an effort to combat stolen goods, the Binners Market has the Vancouver Police Department frequent the market and question vendors who are suspected of selling stolen goods. Nevertheless, the task force who undertakes the majority of the monitoring is volunteer-based, which could be a limiting factor, yet Clarke emphasizes that there remains more legal activity than illegal.