Shoplifting sting nets grocery stores, pawn shop

A police operation targeting businesses that allegedly buy stolen merchandise for resale resulted in nine arrests in New Britain, Conn., according to an article in the Hartford Courant. 

The owners of four small grocery stores, three store clerks and one pawn shop owner were charged with organized retail theft and other offenses on Aug. 11 after undercover officers and informants offered to sell items provided by the New Britain Home Depot and Target stores to pawn shops and small neighborhood markets. In each case, the person who went into the store told the owner or clerk that the items had been stolen, police said. In one instance, a store owner bought $291 worth of merchandise for $29 in cash. 

Police went to all seven pawn shops in New Britain and to all the small neighborhood grocery stores, according to the article. Clerks and owners at most pawn shops and small markets did not want to buy the purportedly stolen goods, according to authorities. "There were plenty of businesses that indicated they wanted to operate within the law, and that's fantastic," a police spokesman said.