Police crack down on sophisticated retail theft operations
Southern Nevada retailers and Metro Police are joining forces against some increasingly bold and sophisticated thieves who get away with millions of dollars each year.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Southern Nevada retailers and Las Vegas police are joining forces against some increasingly bold and sophisticated thieves who get away with millions of dollars each year.
This year, the National Retail Federation added Las Vegas to its list of the nation's top 10 hubs for organized retail theft.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is trying to put a stop to that designation by assigning a team of officers to investigate cases of retail theft. They partner with local stores and the FBI to catch shoplifters who form growing crime rings.
"We have people out there who make their living off of retailers," said Frank Briguglio with LVMPD. "Their job is to shoplift in abundant amounts on a daily basis and bring it to different locations."
Surveillance video, license plate numbers and a lengthy sting operation led police to three people arrested for alleged ties to a retail crime ring.
Detectives said their evidence is more than $40,000 worth of stolen items; everything from baby formula to expensive sunglasses and clothes.
According to LVMPD, the stolen goods are sold to people referred to as "fences" who resell them on the internet, at swap meets, from other retail storefronts or event from homes and apartments.
"Once word gets out, thieves know this is a good place to unload their merchandise," said Captain Tom Roberts. "Customers know it's a good place to buy somewhere, something that's cheap although it's all stolen. And if you're one of those people, you could get wrapped up in one of those stings yourself."
Police recommend that if you see a lot of activity in your area -- in and out of a home, apartment or seemingly random storefront -- you should report it.
Also, when you purchase something, make sure it's from a reputable retailer.
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.