LA County Sheriff Organized Retail Crime Process Drive main fencing operation bust

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Fox Information embedded with the LA County Sheriff Division’s Organized Retail Theft Crime Process Drive throughout a serious fencing bust in what seemed to be a shopping mall in a crime-ridden space close to downtown Los Angeles. 

The placement was really a hidden storefront for a retail crime ring. Dozens of LA County Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the realm, detaining a number of folks together with a person they consider was serving to run the operation.

Investigators are nonetheless sorting by means of the huge quantity of retailer merchandise discovered throughout this fencing bust. As soon as completed, they consider they may have recovered greater than $500M in stolen merchandise from quite a lot of retailers, together with Nordstrom, Ceremony Assist, Walgreens, Sephora, Nordstrom and Meals 4 Much less.


We watched deputies carry heavy containers from the hidden storefront, full of things – from hygiene merchandise and garments to kitchen home equipment. Captain Robert Peacock commented on the rampant smash and seize crimes in California. He mentioned, “Sometimes with the retailers, it happens so often they can’t keep up with it, and they don’t report it, so it’s an easy crime to get away with it.” 

Capt. Peacock additionally mentioned, “There are a lot of things stacked against us. In California, I think people tend to think that the laws are soft when it comes to this type of crime, and they’re probably right, so we have some work to do with legislation and get some of the laws changed.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff, Robert Luna, speaks throughout a press convention to announce new efforts to curb latest retail thefts, at Metropolis Corridor in Los Angeles, California, on August 17, 2023. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

There’s now a bipartisan effort to alter Proposition 47. It’s a felony justice reform measure which lowered the penalties for a lot of theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Critics of the coverage have lengthy mentioned the voter-approved measure is resulting in thieves believing they’ll commit theft crimes with out going through any penalties. Within the meantime, retail theft stays a big problem in California


LAPD says shoplifting charges jumped 80 p.c from 2022 to 2023. The LA County Sheriff’s Division augmented the Burglary Robbery Task Force in October by including further sources from numerous stations to create 3 groups to work by means of this space. The brand new process power is now referred to as the Organized Retail Process Drive. 

The sheriff’s division says, “These new teams are allowing us to increase the case load, conduct more surveillance operations, arrest the growing number of suspects involved in retail crimes, after-hours responses, weekend call-outs, and conduct “blitz.” 

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 17: Deputy Chief LAPD Kris Pitcher, left, and LA County Sheriff Robert Luna, at press conference held to announce formation of a task force to investigate, apprehend and prosecute suspects who have committed retail thefts smash-and-grabs in recent weeks, held at City Hall in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The task force also works closely with the LAPD and CHP Task Forces to combat the organized retail crime.  Since October, the task force has conducted multiple operations. 

A department spokesperson says, “Since inception of our process power, now we have 555 felony and 72 misdemeanor instances.”


“We now have arrested a complete of 546 suspects associated to retail theft crimes, served 334 warrants, recovered 48 firearms, and recovered over $8,260,000 value of stolen merchandise. “