CA: 9 arrested in organized retail theft operation

Nine people accused of being part of an “organized retail theft crew” were arrested last week in Leimert Park after detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department partnered with a local business to conduct a loss prevention operation, authorities announced Tuesday.

The operation unfolded on Sept. 14 in the 3700 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, according to an LAPD news release.

Burglary detectives recovered a large assortment of stolen over-the-counter pharmaceutical products from two local businesses hidden inside of a U-Haul truck the suspects were using, 37 grams of methamphetamine and U.S. currency police believe was obtained from the illegal sale of the stolen pharmaceuticals.

Of the nine arrests made, two were for felony organized crime theft crew, one for an outstanding felony arrest warrant, four were repeat shoplifting offenders and two other suspects who were cited for shoplifting and released from custody, the release stated.

“The City of Los Angeles, and neighboring cities, have recently experienced an increase in [the] ‘Flash Rob’ method [of] retail crime along with an increase of repeat offender theft incidents conducted by multiple suspects targeting various retail establishments throughout the Los Angeles region,” LAPD said.

Last week, surveillance video captured smash-and-grab thieves making off with an estimated $260,000 worth of high-end watches from a Newport Beach Jewelry store. Just a day before that incident, another burglary crew was caught on security cameras ransacking several businesses in Northridge.

Anyone with information about these types of incidents is asked to call Southwest Area Burglary Detective Hernandez at 213-485-6795. Anonymous tips can be made through L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or online at L.A. Crime Stoppers.

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