SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF), along with CHP investigators assigned to the Cargo Theft Interdiction Program, conducted a statewide enforcement operation on Tuesday, May 9, targeting a criminal operation believed to be responsible for more than $150 million in stolen merchandise.
According to a news release, CHP’s operation led to the arrest of 40 suspects, the recovery of more than $50 million in stolen merchandise, the recovery of 20 stolen cargo trailers and the seizure of several vehicles, multiple firearms, including ghost guns, more than $550,000 and 13 gold bars.
“This large-scale enforcement operation is part of CHP’s everyday work to keep our residents, communities and businesses safe,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said. “I’m grateful for all the men and women who helped shut down this criminal operation and get dangerous firearms and stolen merchandise off our streets.”
The case originated in March 2022 and resulted in CHP conducting more than 50 targeted operations involving multiple surveillance teams, undercover officers, arrests and the authoring and serving of several search warrants, the news release stated.
The suspects are believed to be responsible for the theft of more than 200 cargo loads, valued at more than $150 million. Major retailers are among the victims of the thefts investigated. The suspects involved are facing several felony charges involving conspiracy to commit grand theft, grand theft of cargo, vehicle theft and identity theft.
“This team has worked tirelessly to unravel this complex case,” CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee said. “I continue to be impressed by the dedication and commitment put forth daily by our officers and investigators. Their efforts help make California a safer place to live and work.”
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