Specially assembled ‘retail squad’ arrests 9

Items allegedly seized during crackdown on retail crime. Courtesy photo SCV Sheriff Station
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One of the specialty squads assembled by Capt. Robert Lewis in response to identified crime trends — in this case, a team assigned to address crime at retail stores — made nine arrests in just 24 hours.

Members of the Crime Suppression Unit carried out an operation in response to what deputies had spotted as a particular problem — one involving retail outlets.

During an operation Thursday, the specialty unit arrested nine people and seized a variety of contraband material.

“The operation… Thursday was to identify and arrest people who are coming into the Santa Clarita Valley to victimize the retail stores and residents,” Lewis said Friday.

“These are mission-specific, community-based policing efforts set to reduce crime.

“This was one of several operations that will be implemented monthly moving forward,” he said. “Tracking crimes and trends, coupled with our partnership with the community, have made it possible for us to bring an even higher level of public safety to the Santa Clarita Valley.

“I want to truly thank the community for their continued support and efforts.”

The man who runs the SCV Sheriff’s Station’s Detective Section said the speciality team is paying off.

“This operation was successful,” said Lt. Ignacio Somoano, giving a special nod to SCV businesses working with deputies. “Thanks to our retail and commercial partners who assisted our personnel with this successful operation.”

Members of the specialty unit were deployed — both in uniform and in plainclothes, and using marked and unmarked patrol cars.

“Deputies and detectives targeted crimes in our retail community,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station, said, noting that the purpose of the operation was to counter shoplifting thefts and thefts from parking lots at various retail stores.

“Personnel worked hand-in-hand with loss prevention agents from several major retail stores in Canyon Country and Valencia,” she said.

The operation lead to the following:

    • Two people arrested on suspicion of burglary of an open retail store — which included fraudulent merchandise exchanges
    • Three people arrested on suspicion of petty theft
    • Two people arrested on suspicion of possessing narcotics or narcotic paraphernalia
    • One person arrested on suspicion of possessing a concealed dagger
    • One person arrested on suspicion of driving with a suspended license

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