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CMPD Launches "Organized" Shoplifting Task Force

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SARAH DELIA
/
WFAE

CMPD has launched a new task force focused on what it calls organized retail theft.

The department announced the formation of the Organized Retail Crime Task Force Wednesday. It’s comprised of detectives in nine divisions across the department and is led by Lt. Rob Sprague.

"We aren't talking about kids stealing candy bars," said Lt. Sprague in a statement. "The people involved in organized retail crime are walking out of stores with garbage bags full of undergarments or shopping carts full of expensive tools."

CMPD says the task force will study patterns and trends to help identify and arrest offenders.

Charlotte area businesses collectively lose millions of dollars every year through shoplifting, according to the department. CMPD says it investigated nearly 6,000 shoplifting cases in 2018 and that shoplifting is up 13 percent compared to this time last year.