More than 50 charged in Lexington shoplifting investigations

Courtesy Lexington Police Department
Courtesy Lexington Police Department(WKYT)
Published: Dec. 10, 2018 at 3:23 PM EST
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Lexington police have arrested dozens of people after a shoplifting investigation.

"Operation Fa La La Larceny" was a joint effort between police in Lexington and the Kentucky Organized Retail Crime Association.

From December 3 through December 6, officers worked with loss prevention personnel at stores along the Nicholaville Road corridor, focusing on catching alleged shoplifters.

Officers criminally charged 53 people, arrested 47 people, issued 10 criminal citations and served 7 arrest warrants.

In all, $8,267 in stolen property was recovered. The recovered merchandise included jewelry, fragrances, cosmetics, clothing, handbags, batteries, and alcohol.

Lexington Police Sgt. Donnell Gordon said operations like this one help to keep prices lower and keep the public honest.

"If they know that we may be undercover out here watching and also working with the retail stores, then a lot of times that will keep crime down during the holiday season," Sgt. Gordon said.

Kentucky Branded, located in the Fayette Plaza, wasn't targeted by shoplifters this time, said owner Joe Kawaja, but it's something his staff watches out for during the holidays.

"Every dollar counts, and when we have theft in our stores it definitely affects our bottom line, and we try to be safe but vigilant against it," Kawaja said.

According to a recent

released by the National Retail Federation, organized retail crime losses have reached an all-time high.

The report found that 92 percent of companies had been a victim of organized retail crime in the past year, with losses averaging $777,877 per $1 billion in sales.