Ohio police report major shoplifting ring busts

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Police say an undercover task force has been busting up organized shoplifters who targeted discount retail stores across western Ohio.

The Middletown Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1dyfLGN ) that police departments from Colerain Township west of Cincinnati to Troy and Urbana north of Dayton have worked together for weeks on the case. Authorities say 57 people have been arrested this summer on theft and related charges and that more than $300,000 in stolen merchandise has been seized. Much of it was from flea market vendors.

Authorities say well-organized teams worked together to steal everything from body spray to high-end electronics from retailers. Investigators say the merchandise was stolen for illicit sales at flea markets, pawn shops and over the Internet.

The 13-agency task force started in Middletown.

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