Reporting Mike Puccinelli
(CBS) — A new law in Illinois is allowing police and retailers to work together to crack down on organized retail theft.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports on how police used it to break up a shoplifting ring.
On tables and on the ground in a West Side storage area, the Chicago Police Department’s asset-forfeiture unit shows off its latest bust. One official estimated the value at more than $100,000.
The merchandise included cigarettes and razors.
The goods were stolen from major retailers in Chicago, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Woodridge, Orland Park and Mount Prospect.
Dan Ensing, the organized retail crime investigator for Dominick’s, says the theft of merchandise drives up prices for everyone.
Police say one store, School Snack on Belmont, accepted stolen goods until it was shut down earlier this week.
“We know that shoplifters from all over northern Illinois were coming to these stores daily, constantly lining up to sell stolen merchandise,” Lt. Karen Konow says.
Two store operators were arrested yesterday, and police didn’t just take their freedom. They also took their cars.
The investigation originated in Mount Prospect seven months ago. But what makes it so unique is the cooperation between police departments and private retailers.
Investigator Ensing with Dominick’s says this kind of cooperation between retailers and police is unprecedented. He believes it could make a huge difference, and more arrests are expected