Apparent Shoplifting Ring Cracked in Roseville, Minn.

Guards, police work together to stop theft; police believe suspects were using bags lined with foil to shield items from store security systems


Roseville police arrested a shoplifting suspect after he left the Gap store in the Rosedale shopping center Saturday and investigators found nearly $15,000 in stolen goods from several stores in the back of his vehicle.

Two other suspects in the Gap theft eluded security officers on foot in the mall.

"We typically don't see individuals or groups as organized as they were,'' Roseville Police Sgt. Lorne Rosand said. "Where the stolen property was going is still unknown.''

Investigators believe the three suspects are part of a larger shoplifting ring using "booster bags'' lined with aluminum foil to shield stolen items from stores' security systems.

The suspect's vehicle contained items believed stolen from Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Izod Outlet, New York & Co., PacSun Outlet, Vanity and Wilson's. Several pairs of athletic shoes also were found.

"I've been doing retail for 20 years, and this is huge,'' said Roseville police investigator Joe Guy. "These groups steal it here, generally ship it to a drop house in New York, Detroit, Chicago or L.A., then sell it again overseas.''

Gap security officers reportedly saw an unidentified man and woman stuffing blue jeans into a bag and handing off the merchandise to a man waiting outside the store who is now in custody. Security called Roseville police, who pulled over the vehicle he was driving just after it left the mall.