PITTSBURG, Calif. - The California Highway Patrol on Wednesday said they recovered $715,000 in stolen goods taken from a multitude of stores and arrested a 45-year-old Pittsburg man on suspicion of organized retail theft and conspiracy.
Julio Cuellar, 45, was booked into Solano County Jail, the CHP said.
While searching a home in Pittsburg along with a storage facility, the CHP said they found boxes and bags of merchandise from CVS Health, Target, RiteAid, Safeway, Sunglass Hut, Macy’s, Total Wine and More, Lululemon, and more.
The CHP posted photos of the haul on Facebook.
Retail theft has been a large problem across the country and in California.
While shoplifting has been a growing problem, recent large-scale thefts in California and elsewhere in which groups of individuals brazenly rush into stores and take goods in plain sight are "raising it to a whole new level," California Retailers Association President and CEO Rachel Michelin said last December.
National retail groups last year estimated the annual losses to be in the tens of billions of dollars.
Some states’ attorney generals are supporting a congressional bill that would require more prevention efforts by large online marketplaces, where experts say many of the stolen goods are fenced.
The thefts have become a political issue as well, particularly in California, where critics place blame on progressive policies like Proposition 47, a ballot measure approved by 60% of state voters in 2014 that reduced certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The CHP recovered $715,000 in stolen goods taken from a multitude of stores and arrested a 45-year-old Pittsburg man on suspicion of organized retail theft and conspiracy. CHP photo: May11, 2022