Undercover Police Sting Thieves At East L.A. Nike Store, Arrest 10 In Ongoing Retail Crime War – Deadline

Score one for the good guys.

In the ongoing battle against organized retail theft at Los Angeles County stores, police arrested 10 people during a two-day undercover operation in Nike Community Store in East Los Angeles.

The arrests were made Thursday and Friday, and more than $3,000 of the recovered merchandise was returned to Nike, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives with LASD’s Burglary and Burglary Task Force worked with the East Los Angeles Station Crime Squad, Summer Enforcement Team and Nike Loss Prevention on various surveillance operations “to apprehend suspects, deter criminal activity and protect life and property at the Nike Community Store in East Los Angeles,” the department said.

Of those arrested, four were for alleged crimes, according to LASD. Two of the suspects had outstanding warrants for their arrest, one of which was a shoplifting warrant. Two criminal street groups have been identified for the thefts.

Undercover police film young couples on a day at a Nike store that has been plagued by thefts.

“In this particular incident, they (the robbers) came in pairs of two, so we had five different teams come in and basically some of them were acting like they were shopping, some of them had empty baby carriages and they loaded up the baby carriages,” said Lt. Robert Peacock from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

“Nike over a one-year period lost over $1 million in that store alone, so if you multiply that by all the other retailers that are hit hard by this, it has to be several million dollars.”

Police are battling a recent spate of organized thefts at major retailers. Flash mobs of thieves have struck Yves Saint Laurent store at Americana at Brand in Glendale, a Macy’s at Fashion Square Mall in Sherman Oaks and a Nordstrom in Canoga Parkamong other places.

At least a dozen arrests were made in those thefts, and police are searching for more suspects.

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