Crackdown on shoplifting gangs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 June, 2008, 12:00am

Police have arrested 11 people in a crackdown on three shoplifting syndicates they say used such devices as a luxury sedan and a baby to hide stolen goods. They included managers from two dispensaries alleged to have accepted the stolen goods.

Police said those arrested had shoplifted cosmetics, facial cream, pain killers, vitamin pills and milk powder worth HK$90,000 from chain stores across the city.

They had fielded three to five members, some of whom kept watch or created diversions while others stole the goods. One syndicate had carried a baby to allay shopkeepers' suspicions and used the child to hide the goods. Another delivered the stolen goods in a Mercedes-Benz to avoid police attention.

The thieves sold the goods to dispensaries for less than half their retail prices or to middlemen who sold them to individual dispensaries.

Police said the arrested people were being detained last night and would face charges.