19 'violent criminals' arrested in retail theft crackdown in San Bernardino County

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Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

Nineteen people were arrested within two weeks as part of multiple operations to crack down on retail theft in San Bernardino County, according to the sheriff's department.

During these "blitz" operations, investigators made 7 felony arrests, 12 misdemeanor arrests, and recovered over $5,038 in property. 

"The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department became concerned with the rise in thefts at retail stores, which often involved organized crews that conspire to commit robberies, burglaries, shelve sweeps, and vandalism. 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," the sheriff's department said in a statement announcing the arrests. 

The identities of the 19 people arrested were not released. 

The operation, known as SMASH & Grab, focuses on efforts to stop retail store theft crews in shopping districts in Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and Chino Hills. 

Last week, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office also announced 19 arrests as part of a similar operation focusing on a popular outlet mall in Camarillo. That "blitz" operation was conducted between May 31 and June 2. 

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Anyone with information can contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).