Chicago crime: Chicago police coming down hard on retail theft rings

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police announced arrests in recent retail thefts Friday, coming down hard on rings of thieves sometimes involving teenagers.

CPD Supt. David Brown said a 15-year-old was arrested last week on 21 counts of thefts of ULTA beauty stores.


"People who take things that don't belong to them need to be brought to justice regardless of your age," Brown said. "Whoever is involved in this, we are putting forth the efforts to bring you to justice."

A spokesperson for ULTA said they are seeing more organized theft, and released a statement saying in part, "In addition to the financial impact, we are seeing a troubling rise in violence and aggression from ORC (Organized Retail Crime) groups. Our goal is always to protect products and more importantly, protect our associates and guests."

On December 23, three people brought bags into the ULTA on Michigan Avenue and stuffed them with fragrances. On December 10, two people grabbed merchandise at the North Face store on Michigan Avenue, pushing a man to the floor.


Brown noted that while young people may be involved in these crimes, there are others they intend to find.

"Yes, we are pursuing that black market as aggressively as we are pursuing the initial offender. We are pursuing the people who buy it in that black market and there is more to come on that," he said.

Chicago's Organized Retail Task Force continues its work with retailers and law enforcement coordinating information to shut down the rings
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