Police are closing in on a large Missouri family with a network of friends who are suspected of being involved in an extensive theft ring.
The theft ring, believed to be centered in Belton, is knocking off major retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, JCPenny and Macy’s. Some of the stores were as far north as St. Joseph and as far east as Columbia and Jefferson City.
“If you can think of a store in the metro that’s a big box retailer, they were hit,” Overland Park Police Detective Andrew Kearney said today.
The investigation started around Thanksgiving when security at Target notified Overland Park police about the thefts. Authorities later raided a home in Belton and seized thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise.
The value of the thefts reaches into the tens of thousands of dollars and includes toys and high-end electronics.
Police said the suspected thieves created distractions with the cashier and walked out without paying.
The method is “good enough that it’s going to be pretty difficult for the retailers to stop it,” Kearney said. “I don’t want to go into too much detail about how they do it. I think it would be something that a lot of people would try to pick up.”
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