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Organized Retail Theft: Major Crime Ring Dismantled

When it comes to shoplifting, it was a serious and sophisticated operation. The case of a Middle Eastern crime ring shows how millions of dollars’ worth of goods are swiped annually.

Mar 12, 2013 04:30 PM

Organized Retail Theft: Major Crime Ring Dismantled

Shopping aisleWhen it comes to shoplifting, this was a serious and sophisticated operation.

It involved members of a criminal group waltzing into major U.S. retail stores and pharmacies and brazenly walking out with stolen products of all kinds, from medicine and baby formula to health and beauty supplies. Those products were then repackaged and sold at rock bottom prices to various wholesalers, who in some cases sold them right back to the companies they had been stolen from.

The criminal bottom line: an estimated $10 million worth of products were swiped every year from 2008 to 2012. But it all came to an end following a multi-agency investigation by the FBI and its partners, and earlier this month, one of the highest-ranking and most prolific fences in this Middle Eastern crime ring was convicted in federal court.

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