Operation Spring Cleaning Nets 71 Arrests

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Long Beach Police Department officers joined forces with Albertsons, CVS, Rite Aid, Smart & Final, Stater Bros., Target, Vons, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart’s loss prevention personnel in a three-day operation, which resulted in 71 arrests.

Operation Spring Cleaning aggressively targeted organized retail crime, which includes shoplifters, commercial burglars, and organized gangs that steal from these establishments. On March 14th, 15th, and 16th, Burglary Detectives and Directed Enforcement Officers, from the East, West and North Patrol Divisions, joined 100 loss prevention specialists at local retail companies to arrest, cite, or identify all suspects detained for theft related offenses at 43 retail establishments throughout Long Beach.

Operation Spring Cleaning focused enforcement in an effort to combat increases in crime that affect consumers and retailers alike.  This is the first time this type of operation was held in Long Beach.  The operation resulted in 24 felony filings, 42 misdemeanor filings, 6 juvenile petitions, and 71 civil demand notices issued by each business.

Commonly stolen items included:  toiletries, cosmetics, groceries, alcohol, and clothing. Officers caught one adult female suspect with multiple stolen items and found she had hidden two pies and a gallon of ice cream on her person.  In another incident, a male adult suspect was caught with over $200 worth of meat hidden in his backpack.

“Our team effort sent a message to those inclined to steal from retailers,” said Sergeant Robert Woods, “Think twice; if you’re caught, you run the risk of being arrested, prosecuted, and liable for paying the money back.”

The City of Long Beach saw a marked increase in property crimes in 2012.  Many of these crimes were opportunity based and officers will continue to partner with retailers and the community to apprehend thieves.

For additional information regarding this operation, please contact the Long Beach Burglary Sergeant Robert Woods at (562) 570-7351.

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