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23 People Charged Multimillion-Dollar Shoplifting Bust

Another day, another scam.

23 people have just been charged in connection with a multimillion-dollar shoplifting operation, which spans New York and New Jersey. According to a report from WABC-TV, local authorities put the pieces of this operation together following a year-long investigation, which ultimately brought them to alleged mastermind Stephan Williams.

It all started with hundreds of thousands of dollars in Jersey City, which is alleged to have eventually grown into something worth millions–thanks to a system in which participating shoplifters were instructed to procure items from a predetermined list.

Ulta Beauty, CVS, Walgreens, and Duane Reade were all affected throughout this operation, where the shoplifters scammed over-the-counter meds, vitamins, beauty supplies, and multivitamins. According to investigators, a typical hit would have a hired driver dropping off as many as 10 shoplifters at the locations at a time, and afterward, the items they obtained were allegedly put up for sale on eBay.

According to the most recent reports about the bust, 11 alleged participants have been arrested, while warrants for “several others” have been issued; A total of 23 people have reportedly been charged in connection with the scam. It has been estimated that $3 million in stolen items have been recovered by the police, who also managed to freeze a pair of bank accounts that totaled approximately $4.5 million.

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