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CHP task force to combat organized retail thefts

FILE - Police officers and emergency crews park outside the Louis Vuitton store in San...
FILE - Police officers and emergency crews park outside the Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco's Union Square on Nov. 21, 2021, after looters ransacked businesses. Groups of thieves, some carrying crowbars and hammers, smashed glass cases and window displays, ransacking high-end stores throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, stealing jewelry, sunglasses, suitcases and other merchandise before fleeing in waiting cars during a weekend of brazen organized theft that shocked holiday shoppers and prompted concerns about the busy retail season.(Danielle Echeverria/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:14 AM PST
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KOLO) - The California Highway Patrol has announced the creation of a task force to investigate, make arrests, and recover merchandise stolen from retailers statewide.

The Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) was first organized in 2019, bringing together law enforcement agencies across California. Since 2019, the CHP has participated in 773 investigations, made 240 arrests, and assisted in recovering nearly $19 million in merchandise.

In recent weeks, there have been high profile smash and grab robberies in the Bay area and Los Angeles.

The CHP’s ORCTF can help local police to go outside their jurisdictions, while providing resources, personnel and support.

The CHP says, if you do observe an organized theft:

o Do not attempt to intervene.

o Note what the people involved look like.

o If possible, obtain a license plate and vehicle description.

o Be cautious – multiple suspects can be involved in these thefts.

o Report all suspicious activity to the store manager or police when safe to do so.

o Submit pictures or video of the suspects or criminal activity to law enforcement, if you can do so safely.

o Report organized retail theft incidents to the CHP online.

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