LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Police arrested 18 people in a spree of organized retail theft targeting stores across Los Angeles County this week.
The thieves, ranging in age from 15-20 years old, allegedly swindled around $23,000 worth of clothing and merchandise, according to Los Angeles Police.
The thefts occurred over a two-day period beginning Thursday, Dec. 1 and targeted four different shoe and clothing retailers across L.A. County.
Police photos show the suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts and facemasks while ransacking an athletic wear shop. The thieves were seen carrying armfuls of clothing as they dashed out of the store.
During the arrests, eight vehicles were also impounded, police said. All stolen items have since been recovered and returned to the shops targeted by the group.
Police believe the group of suspects were involved in 14 other similar thefts across L.A. County. Those heists resulted in an estimated loss of $90,000 in stolen merchandise.
The investigation remains ongoing and will involve the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and loss prevention personnel.
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD at 1-877-275-5273. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.lacrimestoppers.org.