Eight arrested in multimillion-dollar retail theft operation, Los Angeles County sheriff officials say

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 17: LA County Sheriff Robert Luna, flanked by Deputy Chief LAPD Kris Pitcher, left, task force in-charge, Chief LAPD Dominic Choi, Assistant Chief of LAPD Alfred Labrata, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, LA Police Commissioner Dr. Erroll Southers and Glendale Police Chief Manuel Cid, talks about forming a task force to investigate, apprehend and prosecute suspects who have committed retail thefts smash-and-grabs in recent weeks, at a press conference held at City Hall in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass and other officials talk about new task force to investigate, apprehend and prosecute suspects who have committed retail thefts at a press conference in August. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Eight people were arrested on suspicion of organized retail theft after authorities discovered several million dollars' worth of stolen medicines, cosmetics and other merchandise at multiple Los Angeles locations, sheriff officials said.

The retail goods were stolen by crews of organized shoplifters at stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, according to detectives. The stolen items were then taken to various locations in L.A. County where they were sold to various “fence” operations, officials said.

Authorities investigating retail theft refer to people who buy stolen goods and then resell them for a profit as “fences.”

The Sheriff’s Department said they had also recovered a stolen firearm and a large sum of cash, according to a release sent late Friday.

The suspects, who were not named, are being held on $60,000 bail each.

Early Thursday morning, sheriff's detectives performed raids at a dozen locations in Los Angeles thought to be involved in the crime ring, according to KCAL CBS.

At a small South L.A. market, they found boxes of stolen Motrin, Theraflu and other goods stacked floor to ceiling, the report said. Store tags were still affixed to much of the merchandise. The location appeared to be where the goods were relabeled for sale, officials said.

Detectives said they worked with the help of stores, including CVS and Walmart, to track the illegal operation.

The stolen merchandise is often sold online, officials said, including on Amazon.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact the Organized Retail Crimes Task Force at (562) 946-7270.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.