Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Baby Formula Thieves Arrested NR16246jhLos Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Commercial Crimes Division, Cargo-Hijack Unit detectives have arrested 27-year-old Joe Lopez and 22-year-old Nick Lopez on June 30, 2016.
In June of 2016, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department Commercial Crimes Division, Cargo-Hijack Unit, along with the Loss Prevention investigators, began investigating large scale thefts of infant baby formula from the store's distribution warehouse in Los Angeles, California. The thefts from the warehouse totaled over $50,000.00 in a six week period and were believed to be related to Organized Retail Crime.
Investigators formulated an investigative strategy and discovered that a security guard of the distribution warehouse, contracted through a private company, had allowed a second suspect to enter the facility after business hours and remove large amounts of infant baby formula. Their investigation led to a motel in Los Angeles where the suspects were found to have had over $9,000.00 in stolen baby formula. Further follow up led to a storage facility in Sylmar, California, and a residence in Valencia, California, where investigators identified two additional suspects believed to be part of an Organized Retail Crime theft ring with Joe Lopez and Nick Lopez. Detectives seized approximately $11,000.00 in stolen product and $4000.00 in cash from the two locations for a total of $24,000.00 in seized product and cash.
(Joe Lopez) (Nick Lopez)
Organized Retail Crime is responsible for estimated $40 billion dollars in loss to retailers in the United States every year. This investigation is an excellent example of the Law Enforcement and Organized Retail Crime partnerships that exist in an effort to combat Organized Retail Crime and protect and serve the City of Los Angeles and its businesses.
Anyone with information on this crime or any other crimes related to Organized Retail Crimes are asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department Commercial Crimes Division, Cargo-Hijack Unit detective Jeannette Santos at (818) 832-7511. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.