Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers

Metro Police Unit Targets Shoplifting “Gangs”

The Retail Apprehension Unit, or RAP, is made up of specialized officers tasked with tracking down groups that spend their time boosting retail stores. They work undercover and are no doubt busy this holiday season as shoplifters are out in full force.

According to the Law Vegas Sun, these shoplifting groups have several people working as a unit, at least one serving as a look-out while others lift clothing, jewelry and whatever else they can get their hands on. Like them, the RAP team tries to blend in with shoppers and not be detected for who they truly are.

The RAP group first took action right before Thanksgiving. Since then, they’ve arrested 11 people and recovered $12,000 in stolen goods.

They aren’t looking for a singular shoplifter, the RAP team is interested in organized shoplifting rings, something that’s become a bigger problem in recent years, according to statistics from the 2011 Organized Retail Crime Survey.

“This time of year is the perfect environment for them because they’re looking for the clerks to be busy helping other, normal customers,” says Sgt. Will Seifert of the Metro Police’s property crimes unit. They take advantage of that.

The 11 shoplifting suspects already arrested by RAP officers worked for 5 different shoplifting rings. “Each crew allegedly burglarized at least four retailers in a span of 40 minutes to an hour and a half.” One crew stole about $4,500 in clothing within that short period of time.

Those doing the shoplifting are rarely the ones calling the shots. One team member who was arrested admits she was promised $100 for every bag of clothes she was able to steal. There’s usually a boss, who doesn’t have to do any of the work, while the shoplifters put their neck on the line for a quick buck.

This isn’t about stealing the latest fashions or getting a little free treat from a retailer—it’s about raking in serious merchandise and serious money.

Most shoplifting cases are not this complex. Most involve one or two people and a small amount of goods. But to be charged with a shoplifting offense, no matter how small, is something that must be taken seriously.

Even if you steal less than $250 in goods, you can still face jail time, up to 6 months in fact. As the value of the crime increases, so do the penalties.

Whether you are facing misdemeanor shoplifting charges or felony charges, we can help. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case and the options available to you.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 8:27 pm and is filed under theft. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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