ANAHEIM — A task force based out of the sheriff’s Industry Station recovered about $450,000 worth of allegedly stolen plastic pallets and crates Saturday, officials said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Plastic Industrial Theft Task Force served a morning search warrant at an Anaheim business called So Cal Plastics, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Four men were arrested during the operation, however their names were withheld Sunday due to the ongoing investigation, according to sheriff’s officials.
“The location on Knollwood Circle in Anaheim was alleged to be a site where stolen trademark plastic products were being stowed and ground to make them untraceable,” the statement said.
Some of the $450,000 worth of stolen plastic goods recovered Saturday were intact, while others had already been ground down, officials said.
Deputies also seized equipment used in grinding the plastic.
In addition to the four men arrested Saturday on suspicion of felony possession of stolen goods, sheriff’s officials said they were continuing to seek other possible suspects.
“Plastic trademark products are often stolen from the loading docks behind businesses throughout Los Angeles County and the entire region,” Sgt. Nabeel Mitry said. “Additionally, either employees steal the plastics themselves, or leave them in a place outside the business so their crime partners can pick them up.”
Targeted items include all sorts of plastic containers, ranging from collapsible baskets to pallets designed to carry soda bottles.
The task force has recovered more than $5 million worth of suspected stolen plastic over the past year, evidencing the widespread nature of the problem, sheriff’s Industry Station Capt. Mike Claus said.
“Clearly, the enormity of the loss just in Los Angeles County could easily exceed $10 million dollars a year,” he said. “I have been contacted by Los Angeles County and even worldwide global businesses who have made it clear that this is an epidemic that had never been addressed.”
“The victims of these thefts are hard-working business people contributing products and services to their customers as well as jobs to the economy,” the captain added. “The enormous cost to businesses as a result of these thefts is ultimately paid by consumers through increases in prices for goods and services.”
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department