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Long Beach police arrest 71 alleged shoplifters

March 22, 2013|By Richard Winton

During a three-day operation dubbed Operation Spring Cleaning, Long Beach Police swept up 71 people involved in organized shoplifting gangs, one of whom had pies and gallons of ice cream hidden in her clothes.

Over three days last week, patrol officers from throughout the city along with burglary detectives and 100 loss-prevention specialists at local retailers arrested suspects at 43 stores around town, said Sgt. Robert Woods.

Woods said the operation led to 24 felony filings, 42 misdemeanor filings, six juvenile petitions, and 71 civil demand notices issued by each business.

While the items were generally small -- toiletries, cosmetics, groceries, alcohol, and clothing -- police said the items add up in value. In one case, officers caught one adult female suspect with two hidden pies and a gallon of ice cream concealed on her.  In another incident, a male adult suspect was caught with over $200 worth of meat hidden in his backpack.

“Our team effort sent a message to those inclined to steal from retailers,” said Sgt. Robert Woods. “Think twice; if you’re caught, you run the risk of being arrested, prosecuted, and liable for paying the money back.”

The operation comes after Long Beach saw property crimes jump in 2012.


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