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Police: Suspects Loaded up Uhaul With Stolen Items
MIAMI TWP. -- A ring of thieves sneaking $75,000 a month in merchandise from retail stores near the Dayton Mall.
Miami Township Police Sgt. Scott Fitzgerald says they raided three homes in Trotwood early Wednesday morning where they found merchandise from Walmart and Meijer.
The pricey electronics range from cameras, to televisions, to global positioning systems.
Miami Township Police with assistance from Trotwood Police served search warrants at 4178 Fruedenberger, 1445 Graystone and 1453 Courter.
"They dress well. They befriend the store employees, management," said Fitzgerald.
The employees at Walmart and Meijer near the Dayton Mall are who eventually gave police the break they were looking for by providing them pictures and information on the suspects.
"These people are making a living out of this. This is what they do," said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald says the group of men would walk out of the gardening sections of the stores with the items and would load up a Uhaul.
He says this goes beyond shoplifting.
"Organized retail theft is going in, stealing like five computers knowing you're going to sell them or trade them for drugs," Fitzgerald said.
And police say that's just what these guys were doing inside these Trotwood homes. Detectives say they were selling the items or trading them for heroin.
Those men could be prosecuted under Ohio's 'Corrupt Activity Law' which now defines organized retail theft of anything over $1,000 or more from one or more stores.
"Thankfully the legislature is taking it seriously. Understanding this is not shoplifting anymore," said Fitzgerald.
For Miami Township Police this will be their first case of this size under the new law that now carries a harsher punishment.
No one was arrested from the search warrants, but last week, police caught one suspect in a Uhaul van loaded with items, which helped them get Wednesday's search warrants.
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