This story about small stores paying a one dollar bounty to receive stolen merchandise really caught my attention. While this takes place in the City of Wilmington, all stores in Delaware should be on the lookout for this kind of thing.
Five shops have been shut down.
From the Wilmington Police:
"A Wilmington Police investigation into a string of shoplifting incidents at City-based pharmacies has led to a joint operation with the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections to disrupt criminal activity and impose sanctions on businesses for various violations.
Over the course of several weeks, Wilmington Police have detected a trend of shoplifting incidents from various Walgreens and CVS locations throughout the City, with a particular concentration in Sector 3. Through the course of their investigation, police learned that some individuals responsible for shoplifting incidents in Wilmington are in communication with staff from various small businesses and markets throughout the City. Police received intelligence that some of these stores provide details about items of interest – ordinarily soap, body wash and deodorant – to individuals who then steal those items from pharmacies and bring them to these small businesses in exchange for approximately $1 per item. Those items are then resold to customers of those small businesses at a higher price.
Police have identified five stores participating in these incidents:
- Shorman Mini Market – 2215 Washington Street
- City Markey and Deli – 2402 N Market Street
- Franklin Market – 128 N Franklin Street
- Lucky Stop – 2212 N Market Street
- High Savings Market – 418 N Scott Street
After receiving this information, and under the leadership of Lt. Matthew Hall and Sgt. Paul Ciber, officers coordinated with the City Department of Licenses and Inspections to launch a joint operation and conduct investigations at each of the abovementioned businesses.
On June 3, police joined officials from L&I to visit each location, and police located stolen merchandise bearing Walgreens or CVS labels at each of the five locations. Those items were seized, and L&I officials identified additional violations – including those related to electrical, plumbing and structural issues, as well as a lack of appropriate City and health licenses and certificates, among other infractions – that led to the immediate closure of all five businesses pending compliance.
Lt. Hall, who serves as the watch commander for the C Platoon, applauded the work of officers who detected and investigated the trend.
“This is a strong example of the leadership displayed by our patrol officers and street supervisors in addressing crime and quality-of-life issues throughout Wilmington,” said Lt. Hall. “Our officers noticed this trend and leveraged intelligence and community support to determine what was taking place, identify those responsible, and partner with another City agency to take swift action.”
He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of Licenses and Inspections officials and supervisors for their support.
“This is a textbook example of a true partnership between two City agencies that collaborated to address an issue affecting the community,” Lt. Hall added.
This remains an ongoing Wilmington Police investigation, and further details will be released when possible."