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AG Raoul task force raid finds more than $1 million in stolen goods

Friday, Dec 3, 2021

* I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s amazing how organized this is. WTTW

A joint task force this week recovered thousands of pieces of stolen retail items, including men’s and women’s clothing, electronics, high-end food items and beauty supplies, totaling more than $1 million in value from multiple Chicago storage containers this week, law enforcement officials announced Friday.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said members of an Organized Retail Crime Task Force and the Chicago Police Department executed search warrants at eight storage units in two Chicago locations Wednesday night, where they recovered “four semitrailers of merchandise” that had been stolen from major national retailers.

“The actual operation of these organized schemes is a lot more sophisticated than might be reflected in the commonly seen smash-and-grab group thefts,” Raoul said Friday during a press conference in Chicago. “Our goal is to disrupt the criminal enterprises that engage in the overall scheme and send a message to these criminal operations that we will identify them and end the destruction they cause to our communities.”

Though officials were light on some specifics, the seizure apparently stemmed from an unrelated gun arrest. CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said an officer arrested that suspect and discovered stolen items in their car. From there, a Chicago retail crime team was notified, as well as the AG’s task force and the items were eventually recovered.

* Some pics…


* Crain’s

It took eight or nine hours to get all of the goods out of the storage units, Raoul said. Pictures of the recovered merchandise don’t do justice to how much was there.

“Fifteen people spending hours unloading stuff, it’s a lot of items that were recovered,” he said.

Raoul launched his task force earlier this fall, and the recovery announced Friday was its first major bust. The task force aims to bring law enforcement officials from multiple jurisdictions and levels together with retailers and internet marketplace operators to reduce such crimes. Though retailers have long dealt with theft, these coordinated, larger incidents have escalated recently.

Nationally, dollars lost to organized retail crime topped $700,000 per $1 billion in sales in 2020, up nearly 60% since 2015, according to a recent National Retail Federation report. In Illinois, shops lost $3.7 billion to $4 billion worth of merchandise to theft last year, according to the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

* ABC 7

The bust comes as a number of smash and gran thefts continue at high-end retailers in the Chicago area.

On Thursday, Chicago police said nine people hit a Neiman Marcus store in the 700-block of North Michigan Avenue. […]

Friday morning, three suspects in a silver sedan approached a store in the Roosevelt Collection in the 1100-block of South Delano Court at about 5:55 a.m., police said. The suspects opened the door of a business and took merchandise and cash boxed before fleeingin the sedan, police said.

On Monday, thieves swarmed the Burberry store just down the street on Michigan Avenue, making off with several expensive designer purses.

* Related…

* CVS, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announce use of time-delay safes to prevent pharmacy thefts

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    Is it chaos…yet?


  2. - Joe Schmoe - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 2:55 pm:

    Have the stores just given up on security? An armed guard at the front door should at least be of some deterrence. And it’s not like the stores are packed with shoppers. North Mich is a ghost of its former self.


  3. - Blue Dog - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:00 pm:

    25 yrs. no parole.


  4. - Jockey - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:01 pm:

    “My” Organized Retail Crime Task Force


  5. - Anon - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:05 pm:

    This doesn’t look like proceeds from “smash and grab” from retail establishments. This looks more like theft from trucks or train cars.

    I hope that the AG and law enforcement isn’t mixing apples and oranges here to make it look like they’re dealing with the roving bands of looters when they’re not.


  6. - Union thug - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    Smash and grab is nothing new. What they are after changes over time but the method is the same. Notice how you major retailers added metal poles to the front of stores. These were rare till the 90s and people started smash and grabbing cigarettes overnight.


  7. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    That’s nice work. I haven’t seen people selling the looted wares on the el as much. There is probably a fair amount of stolen good being sold online.


  8. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    good work. more to do. I’m tired of some people I know saying “insurance will pay for it, move on to more serious crime.” the work of these organized thieves is having a chilling effect on business, public movement, and the mood for the holidays. to all who work to stop them, thank you.


  9. - IBE - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:19 pm:

    This is exactly why I didn’t take my daughter and her friends to American Girl on Michigan: the crime.


  10. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    The Feds and the State making moves in Chicago this week. Kim Foxx is a joke.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:34 pm:

    Good stuff here, important that things like this are happening and making a difference.

    $1 million isn’t small change.


  12. - Payback - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    Raoul’s lawyers met with Reps Grant Wehrli and Patrick Windhorst in 2020 to inform them that the AG couldn’t investigate public corruption, because of Raoul’s interpretation of the Attorney General statute. Kwame was not in the room at that meeting.

    “The task force aims to bring law enforcement officials from multiple jurisdictions and levels together…” But now Kwame forms and promotes a multi-jurisdictional “task force?” I guess that where there is a will (to generate press) to fight crime, there’s a way.


  13. - Bigtwich - Friday, Dec 3, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    Almost the Weekend -

    I suspect Kim Fox is part of the task force. The only description of it I found said, “The task force is designed to foster cooperation among retailers, online marketplaces, law enforcement agencies and state’s attorneys.” Don’t think the AG has authority to prosecute these crimes.


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