Fifteen people were arrested in what investigators call an elaborate commercial burglary ring that could affect you the next time you go shopping.
California Highway Patrol investigators served five search warrants across Los Angeles County in late February and recovered half-a-million dollars' worth of stolen goods after stopping a crew of alleged cargo thieves. The thieves allegedly took truckloads of clothing, cosmetics, electronics and more.
The CHP's Cargo Theft Interdiction Program says members of an alleged theft crew would cut holes in the walls of businesses and load vans up with merchandise. Other times they were more brazen, picking up box after box of merchandise in broad daylight and driving away.
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Investigators say cargo thefts cost California $2 million per day and $15-25 billion a year nationally. The losses include jobs and sometimes even lives.
The California Department of Insurance says companies that take a loss when their items are stolen will likely pass the cost on to consumers. The CHP says some of the stolen goods were resold at swap meets, where some shoppers may have unwittingly ended up buying those stolen goods.