Eight people in Florida have been accused of operating a racketeering ring and taking nearly $85,000 worth of baby formula and assorted items for purported resale on the black market.
Beginning in August 2019, Florida locations of Walmart, Publix, and Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie) in 18 counties reported that they were being targeted by thieves who were taking mostly baby products, such as diapers, formula, and baby food. Energy drinks were also reported in some of the product losses from the stores.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Organized Retail Crime Detectives worked alongside state agencies. They opened an investigation into the reported recurring thefts, which allegedly continued throughout 2020.