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Not just California: Memphis area sports apparel stores terrorized by brazen shoplifting gang
Image source: Memphis PD

Not just California: Memphis area sports apparel stores terrorized by brazen shoplifting gang

By now it's a familiar scene: a group of seven men walked into a a clothing retailer Thursday wearing face coverings and robbed the place blind in broad daylight, walking out with armloads of merchandise while the store was still open. But this wasn't San Francisco or Los Angeles, it was in Memphis last week, and the retailer says this was one of more than 60 similar incidents to happen in the last year in their Memphis area stores alone.

According to WREG-TV, police released surveillance video of the alleged shoplifting gang who walked out of a local City Gear store carrying armloads of pilfered merchandise. Police say, after reviewing the footage, that at least seven individuals participated in the organized theft. Neither police, nor City Gear's parent corporation Hibbett have released an exact dollar amount of the merchandise that was stolen, but it was described as a "large amount."

Mark Gunn, the senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Hibbett City Gear, told WREG last year that the problem in Memphis was "a bit unusual," but that the company remains committed to keeping their stores open in the Memphis area, at least for now. Hibbett did not respond to a request for comment about the most recent theft.

The extent of so-called "organized retail theft" is a hotly debated topic. While many retailers have warned about what they see as a rise in these incidents, others have disputed its prevalence and claimed that only about 5 percent of overall retail theft is done by these gangs.

One thing is for certain: this particular group has thus far been successful at evading capture by the police. Anyone with information about the group or who recognizes any of the suspects is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at (901)528-CASH.

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Leon Wolf

Leon Wolf

Managing Editor, News

Leon Wolf is the managing news editor for Blaze News. Previously, he worked as managing editor for RedState, as an in-house compliance attorney for several Super PACs, as a white-collar criminal defense attorney, and in communications for several Republican campaigns. You can reach him at lwolf@blazemedia.com.
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