14 Arrested After Retail Theft Operation

Retailers in Southern California and other places have been plagued the past several months by thefts of many kinds. Particularly brazen among them are large retail theft operations where mobs show up at stores to steal whatever they can carry away has left law enforcement and the community stymied regarding how to stop them.

Law enforcement chalked up a win last week when a spate of anti-crime operations lead to the arrest of 14 suspects. Two locations in downtown Los Angeles were targeted by law enforcement as the sites of the operations. One one of the two operations happened on Feb. 29 on the 600 block of S. Broadway. Four suspects with ages ranging from 19 to 38 were arrested.

The second operation occurred on March 1st at the plaza in the area of 7th and Figueroa Streets. Ten suspects were arrested during the operation, including juveniles below the age of 18. Several of the suspects were cited and released as per the Zero Bail Policy in effect in Los Angeles County. However, others were held in custody due to outstanding warrants.

The exact charges the suspects may face have not yet been released, though they’ll be theft-related and could include charges of petty theft or shoplifting.

Both petty theft and shoplifting are similar crimes, but they are covered under their own laws. The main difference between the two crimes is that shoplifting laws revolve around entering a store with the intent to steal something, while petty theft revolve around the actual act of stealing.

Shoplifting is usually charged when someone enters an establishment, while it is open for business, with the intent to steal something with a value of $950 or less. Petty theft is charged when that person takes something from the store without the owner’s consent and with the intention of depriving the owner of it for a period of time.

Both crimes are misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.