Businesses are experiencing the negative impact of organized retail theft, and Steve Craig, the owner of Citadel Outlets, has experienced this firsthand.
According to Craig, a group of women made their way into Lululemon a few months ago and swiftly filled 55-gallon trash bags with merchandise before making a quick exit. He noted that these individuals operate highly organised and aim to sell the stolen items for a profit in other locations.
On Thursday, officials from Los Angeles County held a press conference at a bustling outdoor shopping mall in Commerce to discuss the ongoing fight against theft, a problem that both authorities and store owners say is becoming increasingly prevalent. The officials provided updates on the progress being made in this campaign against thieves, who continue to pose a significant threat to the safety and security of both businesses and consumers.
Sheriff Robert Luna, along with L.A. County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis, recently convened to provide an update on the advancements of the Organized Retail Theft Task Force of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
According to Luna, the task force’s teams have accomplished a great deal in the first five weeks, including making 89 arrests related to retail thefts, recovering six firearms, and executing 52 search warrants.
According to Sheriff Luna, the recovered stolen merchandise is valued at $370,000. The task force received a $15.6 million grant from the state last month, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors. The grant will be utilized to provide training to the law enforcement personnel involved and to acquire new technology.
According to Hahn, the task force is collaborating closely with the business community to establish fresh channels of communication with store owners and managers. Luna stated that although he was unsure of the exact number, he believed that some of the 89 individuals who were arrested were repeat offenders. Luna speculated that many of the people being apprehended were likely repeat offenders, which presented a major obstacle for law enforcement.
Authorities face a challenge in holding accountable those individuals with the existing laws in place. Luna stated that their main goal is to ensure that the offenders are brought to justice and punished to the maximum extent permitted by law. Regarding the prosecutors, Luna emphasized that they will take all necessary measures to achieve this objective.
It is crucial for both the authorities and the general public to maintain a constant effort to exert pressure on the criminals to ensure they are held accountable, as emphasized by him. At present, we are still awaiting a response from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office regarding the number of individuals who have been arrested and are now facing prosecution. KTLA has made efforts to contact them to obtain this information.
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