Authorities announced on Saturday that ten individuals were apprehended over a span of two days in an undercover operation linked to recent audacious organized theft incidents at the Nike Community Store in East Los Angeles.
The arrests were executed on Thursday and Friday, resulting in the return of over $3,000 worth of merchandise to Nike. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department revealed that the East L.A. store has suffered losses of up to $1 million due to theft within the past year.
Collaborating with the East Los Angeles Station Crime Enforcement Team, Summer Enforcement Team, and Nike Loss Prevention, detectives from the LASD burglary-robbery task force conducted several surveillance operations.
Their aim was to capture suspects, discourage criminal activity, and safeguard life and property at the Nike Community Store in East Los Angeles.
The store, situated at 4585 Whittier Blvd., has experienced significant, well-coordinated thefts akin to those that have targeted other prominent retailers in L.A. County recently, including Macy’s in Sherman Oaks, Yves Saint Laurent in Glendale, and Nordstrom in Canoga Park.
Out of the ten arrests made, four were related to alleged felonies, with two suspects having existing arrest warrants, including one for shoplifting.
During the operation, the LASD detectives and East Los Angeles sheriff’s station deputies identified two criminal street gangs associated with organized retail theft.
“We collaborated with store security and utilized our crime analyst to identify patterns and likely times the store would be targeted. This coordination with the stores enabled us to take action,” explained LASD Lt. Robert Peacock.
One individual was taken into custody for purportedly stealing a cargo truck.
The sheriff’s Burglary-Robbery Task Force partners with the Los Angeles Police Department and other participating agencies throughout the county as part of the recently established Organized Retail Theft Task Force.