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Folsom retail theft: Police speak on organized store crime

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With national retail theft on the rise, California Highway Patrol and the Folsom Police Department work together to address organized crime at the local level.

FOLSOM, Calif. — With national retail theft on the rise, California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Folsom Police Department have worked together to address the organized crime at the local level.

The Folsom Premium Outlets, the Palladio shopping center and the city’s Historic District are all targets for theft, the department’s Cmdr. Andrew Bates told ABC10 in March.

In February, the department and CHP conducted a crackdown at the Folsom Premium Outlets resulting in 14 arrests, including charge issuances of nine misdemeanors and five felonies. Over  $7,000 of merchandise were recovered during the operation, police said.

Bates said while those three main shopping areas are major targets for retail theft, law enforcement sees regular thefts at “big box”-type stores, or large retail establishments that are typically part of a chain.

Folsom police reported two separate, major retail theft incidents at Dick’s Sporting Goods at 1003 East Bidwell St. on social media in October and November 2023.

In October 2023, officers said they used traffic and license plate-reading cameras to identify a suspect vehicle and arrest two women in connection with roughly $3,000 of stolen merchandise taken from Dick’s, Nike and Gap.

In November 2023, five suspects, including a minor, were reportedly arrested after allegedly stealing multiple garbage bags full of items totaling over $3,000 from Dick’s, according to law enforcement.

“The crimes that stand out the most are the thefts of multiple of the same item, like 10 of the same sports jersey, because those cases are very clearly thefts where resale of the goods is the goal,” Bates said. “This shows us that a person or group is focusing on profit in their criminal activity.”

CHP and the Folsom Police Department together conducted four retail theft blitz operations in December 2023, resulting in the apprehension of 21 suspects and the recovery of over $17,000 of stolen merchandise within the city. The department reported 159 incidents of retail theft that month alone.

California’s statewide response to retail theft

In 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom dedicated over $267 million to 55 cities and counties to increase arrests and prosecutions for organized retail crime, according to the state.

CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) made more than 1,000 arrests and recovered 187,515 stolen items from retailers during 2023, according to Newsom’s office

Since 2019, the office said CHP has led over 1,225 investigations, made over 1,800 arrests and recovered almost 500,000 items of stolen retail merchandise valued at more than $21 million.

“As reports of organized retail crime increase nationally, California is meeting the moment by leading more takedowns and making more arrests than ever before,” Newsom said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the CHP — along with our critical police, sheriff and district attorney partners — for their continued efforts to leverage the state’s tools and unprecedented resources to crack down on this unacceptable crime.”

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Read More: Folsom retail theft: Police speak on organized store crime

2024-04-02 00:15:00

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