Chicago, IL - Illinois AG's organized retail crime task force has seized more than $1 million worth of stolen goods located inside retail storage units. Tens of thousands of items including household goods, clothing, and electronics was enough to fill four trailers.
All of this comes after several "smash and grab" robberies have occurred in cities around Illinois and the rest of the country. In the past 24 hours alone, there were at least two more incidences in Chicago where three men broke into a clothing store in South Loop, making off with clothing and money and a GameStop.
As AG Kwame Raoul notes, “I am committed to identifying the perpetrators behind this and other organized retail crimes in Illinois.” The task force in September and the AG stated this seizure is the result of collaborative efforts of multiple nationwide retailers, online marketplaces, and other law enforcement. The first bust was the result of information received during an unrelated arrest surrounding a gun charge. An officer noticed stolen items in the vehicle of the suspect and alerted the task force.
During the press conference, Raoul said that he believes that had law enforcement not acted quickly, there was a good chance that merchandise would have been lost forever. "The actual operation of these organized schemes are a lot more sophisticated than might be reflected in the footage of the commonly seen smash and grab group thefts. There's a well-organized secondary market." By focusing more on low-level, seemingly unconnected thefts around the state and beyond, he believes the task force can more easily identify patterns and perpetrators.