Are Crime Bosses Paying Shoplifters to Steal?

There’s mounting evidence that organized retail theft rings are targeting the homeless and drug addicts to do their stealing. They know the threshold to prosecute has become so high, little or nothing will happen to them if they get caught. The thieves who walk into stores like Home Depot and take merchandise are brazen, almost knowing they can get away with it.

Officials at the big box home improvement store say the shoplifters will wheel out full carts of merchandise. In one incident captured on surveillance camera footage, an alleged shoplifter lost boxes of tools while trying to leave the store but was confronted by store workers. The man ditched the cart he was pushing and grabbed a box instead.

Law enforcement officials said thieves often run to a waiting car the speeds away from the scene once they and their stolen merchandise are safely inside the getaway vehicle. Company officials at Home Depot won’t disclose how much it loses to shoplifters. Richard McPhail, its chief financial officer, said recently that theft is “the most significant impact” to the retailer’s profit margins. “It affects us a lot,” said Elena del Valle, Organized Retail Crime Manager for Home Depot’s Western Division… ABC30 News

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