Caught on Tape: Organized Crime Ring Targets Upstate Store - WSPA.com

Caught on Tape: Organized Crime Ring Targets Upstate Store

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

An organized retail crime ring has struck at an Upstate store, and investigators think the group is a professional out-of-town band of crooks.

Spartanburg Public Safety Investigator Jim Gardiner says one woman and three men acted together to distract workers and then steal 200 items from Hollister in West Gate Mall on Wednesday night.

Gardiner says the woman and one of them walk in and act as the "decoys" to distract the floor associates while the other two men shovel clothes into a large bag that appears to have a Disney them printed on it.

The crooks were in the store for a total of 22 minutes, and the man with the bag made four trips in and out of the store, each time with the bag packed down with merchandise.

The three men are considered suspects from a November incident at the same store where about $3,000 worth of items were stolen.

Gardiner says these people are likely from out of town because he thinks more stores would be getting targeted if they lived local.

These flash mob-type attacks happen across the country and cost the retail industry between $15-30 billion annually, according to the National Retail Federation.

The NRF says the crime rings steal the merchandise and then sell it in other places to fund drugs or other crimes.

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