Police make 50 arrests, seize $25,000 worth of narcotics in Louisville shoplifting 'blitz'

Police make 50 arrests, seize $25,000 worth of narcotics in Louisville shoplifting 'blitz'

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A shoplifting crackdown in Louisville resulted in dozens of arrests in just 60 hours.

Led by Kroger, over a dozen local retailers on Shelbyville Road banded together with LMPD and St. Matthews Police for what they labeled a "shoplifting blitz."

Enforcement focused on The Mall St. Matthews, Oxmoor Mall and Springhurst Shopping Center on Shelbyville Road.

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Retailers used the free private messaging app, Signal, to alert police in real time when they were being robbed. Suspects walked out of the stores unaware they were being watched until they were arrested by waiting officers.

Terry Young, Kroger's Organized Retail Crime Manager, coordinated the "blitz" after a similar crackdown in Lexington. Friday was the first time it was tried in Louisville. He declared the Louisville "blitz" a success.

"We were hoping to hit a grand slam," Young said. "And I actually think we did."

In just two and a half days, police made 50 arrests and recovered more than $5,000 worth of merchandise and a stolen car. They also seized $12,000 dollars in narcotics because some of the shoplifting was being done to finance drug transactions.

"What really made this work is that we were all communicating," LMPD Major Jamey Schwab said. "We were linked via cell phone, texting. We were getting real time data from inside these retail establishments and we were obviously able to deploy our resources."

Police were expecting more arrests before the "blitz" was over late Friday.

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