A man identified by Safeway as Rick Clark leaves the Safeway store in downtown Vancouver with $380.92 in whiskey and cognac around 8 p.m. on July 21, 2012. Clark was arrested on suspicion of multiple felony liquor theft charges in Clark County, Safeway said. “John” had Alli diet pills that he needed to sell. He met a 34-year-old Vancouver man on May 22 and told him that he lifted the pills from a Rite Aid store and was chased out by security. The buyer paid and told him he wanted more.Three days later, the buyer met “John” — not his real name — in the -Hazel Dell Walmart parking lot where he bought $750 worth of items that were purportedly stolen from retail stores.The twist: “John” is a private investigator working for Safeway, and the buy was a sting. His name was withheld for his security and to protect ongoing investigations.That day, Yevgeniy Smirnov was taken into custody. His wife, Lyudmila Smirnov, was detained after detectives and private investigators served a search warrant at the couple’s home where they found “numerous amounts of different merchandise” including Crest White Strips, Rogaine and air fresheners.These episodes are all detailed in a probable cause affidavit filed by Clark County sheriff’s Detective Tom Yoder that was obtained by The Columbian in July.