Store Owner Arrested in Sting Operation

The owner of a downtown Reno liquor store was arrested after police say he tried to purchase $16,000 worth of stolen cigarettes. Malkit Singh was arrested at “Sam and Son Market” at 895 South Virginia Street just after 8:00 PM Thursday night. Sgt. Joe Burfield of the Reno Police Department says the sale was part of a sting operation that was put in place after police got an anonymous tip that Singh was purchasing stolen goods to stock his shelves.

Burfield says it’s not uncommon for shoplifters to take items from larger stores like Wal-Mart, Costco, or Scolaries then sell them to smaller stores for a profit. While this sting operation focused on cigarettes detectives say this type of crime often includes alcohol or other items. “In fact” Burfield says, “this particular store owner would have a shopping list of items for people to bring to him to sell.”

Inside the store Friday store employees refused to comment about the arrest, but behind the counter shelves once stocked with cigarettes remained bare. As a result of Singh's arrest, Police seized more than $4,000 in cash, a 2004 Chevy Pickup and more than 2,000 bottles of assorted liquor. Sgt. Burfield says this sting operation and subsequent arrest should serve as an example to others. He warns, “We are going to actively seek those that are buying stolen property off the street and reselling it in stores.”

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