Private Detective: Thieves Turn to Apps to Sell Stolen Merchandise

Expensive merchandise from local stores has shown up on phone apps, helping the Marana Police Department track down the thieves.

Thieves have posted merchandise for sale on the apps and anyone with that app can purchase the stolen product from them.

Detective Mike Torres has joined five law enforcement agencies as part of the coalition against retail theft.

This includes prosecutors and retailers like Colin Bakof.

“Anything to stop retail theft obviously in the community is a positive step forward,” Bakof said.

Shoplifters have stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from Bakof’s store and he has the video to prove it.

“Several stolen goods tracked in regards where they’ve been getting sold which is the mainly a good thing we’ve gotten our products back and people have been apprehended from that,” Bakof said.

Bakof’s video was shared with other law enforcement agencies and  the suspect was eventually arrested.

According to officials, shoplifters have also cost Pima County  nearly 6 million dollars.

“People that own stores have to cover the cost of the stolen goods which means that the innocent people are paying for those costs,” Bakof said.

Thieves have also taken to apps like “Let Go” and “Offer Up” to sell the stolen merchandise.

According to Detective Torres, the most popular items that show up are, “TV’s, drills, baby formula, razors and teeth whitening stops, things that can be turned over really quick for a profit.”

Detective Torres said the shoplifters steal merchandise to turn the items into cash. Some of the items go overseas to places like China, India, and the Middle East.

“Just to get the things we buy for $25.00 could be up to $100 in other countries and it’s all stolen merchandise from the retailers here in the United States,” Detective Torres said.

This has become an enormous loss of tax revenue which also affects taxpayers creating a “shadow economy” or a thieves economy.

The Marana Police Department sending a message to the thieves, “You’re going to be seen, you are going to be identified, you’re going to be caught.”

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