California authorities on June 17 recovered a hoard of stolen Lululemon merchandise, according to an announcement from the Palo Alto police department.
Police arrested four suspects and charged them with felony organized retail theft, felony possession of stolen property, and felony conspiracy in connection with an incident that occurred at the Stanford Shopping Center, according the announcement. Officers responded to a call at around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday from staff at a Lululemon store at the Stanford Shopping Center claiming to be witnessing a shoplifting incident. Police detained four suspects shortly after and recovered 100 stolen pairs of leggings valued at over $12,000.
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After further investigation, police discovered a fifth suspect who is still at large and a vehicle that included bags with 300 Lululemon items stolen from other Lululemon stores that day. This hoard was valued at $38,000, police determined after working with asset protection personnel from Lululemon.
Lululemon did not return FN’s request for comment.
The news marks the latest theft incident to plague Lululemon in California in recent weeks. California authorities on June 6 recovered a major shipment of stolen Lululemon merchandise, which included 1,861 stolen items with a retail value of $203,688.
Other retail stores have also been victim to the recent wave of organized retail crime. In May, two Nordstrom employees were arrested in connection with a theft at the department store that employed them in Minnetonka, Minn. after police recovered $400,000 in stolen goods from a Nordstrom store.
Also in May, more than $700,000 in stolen merchandise was recovered and a San Francisco Bay-area man was arrested in connection with a smash-and-grab retail theft ring, California Highway Patrol (CHP) said. According to the CHP’s Golden Gate Division, authorities served search warrants at a home in Pittsburg, Calif. and at a nearby storage facility. During the search, investigators discovered stolen merchandise from multiple retailers, including Macy’s, Lululemon, Target, CVS, and more valuing “at least $715,000.”
This arrest came just months after Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a new plan to fight and prevent crime in the state as it faces a spike in organized smash-and-grab thefts.
The CEOs of 20 leading retailers across the U.S. expressed urgent concern over the growing impact of organized retail crime in a letter sent to Congressional leadership in December. The signatories, which included the heads of Nordstrom, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Foot Locker, implored lawmakers to pass the “INFORM Consumers Act,” legislation that will modernize consumer protection laws to safeguard families and communities from the sale of illicit products.
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