$75K in stolen merch seized after disruption of East Bay fencing operation

Organized retail theft is a concern for retailers as it deters customers and results in a loss of inventory.

In Alameda, officers had success in raiding and closing down a sophisticated fencing operation that offered the stolen goods on the street and online.

The Alameda Police Department showed off the fruits of great police work after seizing $75,000 worth of stolen goods, along with multiple vehicles and $10,000 in cash.


San Jose police arrest pair in connection with 70 retail thefts

San Jose police on Wednesday announced that they have arrested two men in connection with 70 retail thefts totaling $75,000. 

The police department worked with the California Highway Patrol's Organized Retail Crime Task Force and loss prevention experts at Old Navy, Kohl’s, LensCrafters, Ross, TJ Maxx, Walgreens, Carter’s, Walmart, Safeway, and Nordstrom.

"You have more minds in the room. You have more people that can process evidence and help put together a case," said Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi.

It began with a Feb. 9 organized grand theft at Old Navy's store in the South Shore Shopping Center.

"When it comes to retail theft, we know the lost items are going to some type of fencing operation," said Chief Joshi.

Officers learned that the items were going to a home in Oakland that was also receiving merchandise from other regional retailers. Police obtained a search warrant.

"What we found in there was incredible. We're still counting up the total loss," said Joshi.

The fencing operation left sales tags on the goods, and made inventory sheets and detailed records of the operation; all of which were seized. One person was taken into custody and more arrests are likely.

"You are on the right track. We are going to explore all that," said Joshi.

Alameda residents were thankful officers were able to shut the operation down.

"I'd call that very good policing. I think the citizens of Alameda are very fortunate to have a police department that's proactive and is shutting this kind of crime down," said Joseph McCullough.

"The crimes have been crazy. So, I'm really, really glad they have been making some movement in this," said real estate advisor Sher Santosa.

Santosa said that many of her clients who are store owners are fed up with mass thefts. But she also said one big bust does not make a trend.

"I don't know what's happening to America to tell you the truth. But I hope the pendulum will swing," she said.