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Authorities Break up Grocery Store Theft Ring; 2 Men Arrested

The theft ring involved the people stealing goods from stores all over Southern California, the majority of which were later stored at a Midway City home where at least one of the main suspects lived, said Lt. Brandon Shipwash of the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Crime Taskforce.

Some of the goods also were stored at a business that appeared to be an electronics repair shop in Garden Grove, where investigators believe the suspects may have resold some of the products, he said.

Various retail companies, such as Ralphs, had recognized some of the same shoplifting suspects returning to their stores and reached out to the task force in January, according to Shipwash. Investigators then began surveillance of the suspects, along with the Midway City home and Garden Grove business, he said.

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Suspects could be seen every day bringing bags of goods to either the home or business when investigators did surveillance, Shipwash said.

“There were people coming in and out constantly with bags of what appeared to be stolen goods,” he said. “From the moment they wake up, they’ll hit up to eight different stores in different areas throughout the day, bring it back here or meet up with one of the guys from the house.”

Four people were in handcuffs as investigators searched one of the units of the large, two-story duplex in the 14500 block of Hunter Lane in Midway City on Thursday morning. CHP officers brought out boxes full of stolen products, such as baby formula, skincare and beer.

Most of the goods were in the home’s garage, but Shipwash said one other room in the home was full, in addition to some boxes in the kitchen. It was possible the suspects were also selling the stolen goods out of the home and there was even a “no exchanges, no refunds” sign near the boxes in the kitchen.

“It was like stock rooms, just filled floor to ceiling with this stuff,” Shipwash said… The Orange County Register

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