The Harper government is looking to prevent another case like the Toronto grocer charged for nabbing a shoplifter — and maybe score some political points in the process.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has instructed the Justice Department to look at changing the Criminal Code to ensure that what happened to David Chen doesn’t happen again.

Chen was charged with assault and forcible confinement after catching and tying up a shoplifter in Toronto. He was acquitted Friday after a judge ruled it a citizen’s arrest.

The huge public outcry over Chen’s case — especially in vote-rich Toronto — caught the attention of the government and opposition parties.

Catching a thief in the act is a requirement of the law when making a such a citizen’s arrest.

Chen captured the shoplifter one hour after he stole plants from the store. However, Justice Ramez Khawly called the one-hour issue a “red herring,” saying the thief had gone back for more loot.