19 Arrested in Southern California Retail Theft Bust

19 Arrested in Southern California Retail Theft Bust
Cosmetics and other stolen items seized by Operation Smash and Grab. (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)
Jill McLaughlin

Law enforcement officers made 19 arrests in two weeks in connection with retail theft in Southern California, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced June 13.

During the May 31 to June 13 investigation, called Operation Smash and Grab, authorities netted seven felony arrests and 12 misdemeanor arrests, and recovered over $5,000 in stolen property.

The operation focused on the Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and Chino Hills shopping districts.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department became concerned with a rise in retail theft, which often involves crews of thieves and vandals.

“These violent criminals terrorize the citizens of San Bernardino County by utilizing intimidation tactics and a mob mentality that creates an unsafe and uncomfortable shopping environment for our residents,” Sheriff Shannon Dicus said in a press release June 13.
Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.