It was a criminal enterprise with military, like precision run by a “general,”packs of thieves stealing merchandise worth up to $45,000 on a single mission, stuffing it into custom-made vests and disabling store security.
New York prosecutors on Wednesday announced the indictment of 12 people accused of stealing more than $12 million worth of merchandise across 28 US states and transforming idle shoplifting into an organized criminal enterprise.
A 10-month law enforcement operation code-named “Sticky Fingers” netted more than $7.7 million from defendants‘ homes and bank accounts, and more than $1 million in stolen merchandise, officials said.
While electronic goods were most favored, they also ran a sideline in expensive flea collars pinched from pet stores, which like other ill gotten gains were re-sold online on sites such as Amazon and eBay, prosecutors said.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called it “one of the largest-ever busts of a retail theft ring,” a racket that he said was on the rise in the United States. Organized crime costs retailers up to $30 billion a year, he said. Twelve alleged gang members have been slapped with a 41-count indictment that could land them in jail from eight to 25 years. The alleged Manhattan kingpin, Richard Rimbaugh, is being held on $500,000 bail while… Stock Daily Dish