15,000 stolen items found during Bay Area retail theft investigation

California

VALLEJO, Calif. (KTXL) — Two people behind a major retail theft operation were arrested and thousands of stolen items were found at storage lockers in the Bay Area.

The California Highway Patrol announced Tuesday that a search warrant served at a Vallejo home Thursday led them to uncover the illegal operation.

A person arrested at the home was identified as a “primary suspect” in the investigation. Their name was not released.

After searching the home, along with two storage facilities in Vallejo and San Francisco, CHP investigators said they found roughly 15,000 stolen items, valued at over $200,000.

The California Highway Patrol posted this photo of some of the stolen items found at a storage locker during an investigation into a major retail theft operation.

The items had been taken from numerous stores, including CVS, Victoria’s Secret, GAP, Target, LensCrafters, TJX, Nordstrom, Walgreens and Safeway.

As officers served a search warrant at the storage locker in San Francisco, officials said a person who was involved in the theft operation happened to show up and was arrested.

CHP Golden Gate Division Chief Chris Costigan said their investigation is still ongoing, “with more arrests expected.”

“The brazen retail thefts we’ve seen recently are organized by sophisticated criminal enterprises and they demand a no-less sophisticated response from law enforcement agencies working in close coordination,” Chief Costigan said.

District attorneys from San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties recently announced a new regional approach to catching and prosecuting organized retail thefts.

Each district attorney’s office said they will devote a deputy DA and an investigator to work with their regional partners to catch and prosecute the people committing these crimes. People who buy stolen goods could also face felony charges. 

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