WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation applauds the Los Angeles Police Department for their efforts in successfully bringing down a notorious Los Angeles-based organized retail crime ring, also known as the Hernandez Operation.
The criminals are responsible for stealing at least $6 million worth of stolen merchandise that includes infant baby formula, diapers, health and beauty products, hair care products and other over-the-counter medications.
The LAPD has been working on this case for months in concert with the Los Angeles-area Organized Retail Crimes Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture, FBI and Internal Revenue Service.
“The city of Los Angeles and retailers are celebrating a huge victory today, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the LAPD and their partners,” said Joe LaRocca, NRF’s senior asset protection advisor. “Organized retail crime continues to plague the nation, and, as evidenced with this specific crime ring, also proves to be a very dangerous threat to innocent consumers interested in buying baby formula and health products. NRF commends the dedicated professionals who took part in this extensive operation.”
The LAPD Major Crimes Division personnel obtained arrest and search warrants for six persons and 15 locations associated with the enterprise, the NRF said. Additionally, four banking institutions will comply with Los Angeles Superior Court search warrants to seize multiple accounts relating to these individuals. The accounts have shown hundreds of thousands of dollars of transactions during the past several months.
The members arrested are charged with various crimes that include grand theft, commercial burglary, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, according to the NRF.