The CSRA is being hit with
Central Savannah River Area, a 13-county region of Georgia
and 5 to 8 counties in South Carolina.
Law enforcement officials in the CSRA are cracking down on growing national
crime trend. It's called group shoplifting and these crooks can be more
organized than you think.
Take a good look. Investigators in Columbia County say 6 women entered the
Wal-Mart on Washington Road, split up and stuffed items in a purse. A Wal-Mart
employee confronted one of the women, and then they all took off in a white
Suburban waiting in the parking lot. Just what were they after? Six wall
borders and 2 window drapes. They are possibly part of organized retail crime.
Sergeant Aaron Dowdy, Aiken Department of Public Safety: "A bunch of people rush
a clothing store and run out of there. That stuff is going somewhere else,
they're not stealing that stuff because they need clothes really bad, they're
taking that stuff so they can sell it on ebay for themselves, or somebody's
giving them a list of want they want and they're going to make some cash off
Group shoplifting is a crime trend Sergeant Aaron Dowdy with the Aiken
Department of Public Safety is following closely. Sgt. Dowdy: "These
shoplifting rings, they go all over the country. They're all over different
regions of the country, but the people that are stealing are generally the lower
level players. They'll give it to somebody else and they give them a little bit
of cash for it."
According to a 2010 report by the National Retail Federation, organized retail
crime losses total an estimated $15 billion to $20 billion to $30 billion each
year. It's money lost that could drive retail prices up.
In 2008, the Aiken Department of Public Safety arrested William Fields of
Warrenville, an organized crime ringleader accused of stealing more than $7,000
worth of merchandise from the Target store on Whiskey Road and an estimated
$1,500 of goods from a Bi-Lo grocery store.
Columbia County investigators are still looking to identify some of the women
shown in the Wal-Mart surveillance footage. If you have any more information,
you are asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. (Source
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