Trending: Wilmington Police, L&I shut down stores suspected of selling shoplifted pharmacy items

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A Wilmington Police investigation into a string of shoplifting incidents at pharmacies has led to an unusual joint operation with the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections that led to the closing of five stores that were linked to the pilfered items.

Wilmington Police first detected a trend of shoplifting incidents from various Walgreens and CVS locations throughout the city. Police learned that some individuals responsible for shoplifting incidents in Wilmington were in communication with staff from various small businesses and markets throughout the city.

According to a release, police received information that some of these stores provide details about items of interest – ordinarily soap, body wash, and deodorant – to individuals who would then steal items from pharmacies and bring them to the small businesses in exchange for getting approximately $1 per item. Those items are then resold to customers of those small businesses at a higher price.

Police went so far as to have identified five stores participating in these incidents:

  • Shorman Mini Market – 2215 Washington Street
  • City Markey and Deli – 2402 N Market Street
  • Franklin Market – 128 N Franklin Street
  • Lucky Stop – 2212 N Market Street
  • High Savings Market – 418 N Scott Street

After receiving this information, and under the leadership of Lt. Matthew Hall and Sgt. Paul Ciber, officers coordinated with the City Department of Licenses and Inspections to launch a joint operation and conduct investigations at each of the businesses.

On June 3, police joined officials from L&I to visit each location, and police located stolen merchandise bearing Walgreens or CVS labels at each of the five locations.

The items were seized, and L&I officials identified additional violations – including those related to electrical, plumbing and structural issues, as well as a lack of appropriate city and health licenses and certificates, among other infractions – that led to the immediate closing of all five businesses pending compliance.

Hall, who serves as the watch commander for the C Platoon, applauded the work of officers.

“This is a strong example of the leadership displayed by our patrol officers and street supervisors in addressing crime and quality-of-life issues throughout Wilmington,” said Lt. Hall. “Our officers noticed this trend and leveraged intelligence and community support to determine what was taking place, identify those responsible, and partner with another city agency to take swift action.”

“This is a textbook example of a true partnership between two city agencies that collaborated to address an issue affecting the community,” Hall stated.

This remains an ongoing Wilmington Police investigation, and further details will be released when possible.

Anyone with information about these incidents, or others related to this trend, are encouraged to contact Sgt. Paul Ciber at (302) 576-3922 or Paul.Ciber@CJ.State.de.us.

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