Investigators arrested 10 people last week after uncovering a scheme involving more than $218,000 worth of merchandise stolen from retail stores in the L.A. area.
The arrests were made after the stolen items were found in the backyard of a Los Angeles residence. The location was found to be a “fence,” officials said, where stolen goods are deposited before being sold as legitimate wares in person or on the internet.
In this case, the investigators learned the items were being sold at various swap meets throughout the Los Angeles area, according to authorities. Law enforcement seized 8,844 items worth an estimated $218,379.69 stolen from retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, CVS, Ralphs, Rite Aid, Amazon and Walgreens. Detectives also recovered $44,836 in cash as evidence.
Seven men and three women were arrested, all of whom were from Compton, authorities said.
The case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol’s Southern Division Organized Retail Crime Task Force and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force.
The arrests were the second high-profile bust in L.A. made by CHP investigators after Gov. Gavin Newsom tripled the efforts by state authorities to crack down on organized retail theft. On Aug. 29, two people were arrested when nearly $200,000 worth of stolen items were found at a “fence” in Los Angeles.