VALLEJO — Two people were arrested in connection to organized retail theft and stolen merchandise with a value of more than $200,000 was recovered, according to authorities.
The California Highway Patrol said a recent arrest led investigators with the agency’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force to serve a search warrant at a Vallejo home on Dec. 9, according to a CHP social media post on Tuesday. Authorities said they found goods that were stolen from Nordstrom, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Victoria’s Secret, LensCrafters, TJX, Safeway and other stores.
Another search warrant was executed at a Vallejo storage facility that was believed to be connected to the suspect, officials said. The San Francisco Police Department’s Retail Theft Unit also served a search warrant at a storage unit in San Francisco. A man believed to be connected to the storage unit arrived, was detained by CHP and questioned by investigators, they said. He was arrested after officers determined that he was connected to organized retail theft.
The main suspect of the operation was arrested at the Vallejo home, CHP said. Around 15,000 stolen goods were recovered. Authorities did not specify the locations of the stores that they believe had been targeted.
The Bay Area has recently seen a string of organized retail thefts in which thieves have ransacked stores across the region, sometimes overwhelming store security in large groups.
“The brazen retail thefts we’ve seen recently are organized by sophisticated criminal enterprises and they demand a no-less sophisticated response from law enforcement agencies working in close coordination,” said CHP Golden Gate Division Chief Chris Costigan. “The arrests and seizures we’re announcing today are the result of an ongoing investigation, with more arrests expected. We hope this sends a strong message to would-be thieves and those facilitating their crimes that they will be held accountable.”
“These kinds of crimes aren’t just hurting large retailers. In our city, they’re hurting workers who are losing their jobs and seeing their hours cut,” said San Francisco Chief of Police Bill Scott. “They’re hurting seniors who depend on neighborhood pharmacies that are being forced to shutter.”
Get Morning Report and other email newsletters