Polk deputies round up 41 for theft, other charges - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk deputies round up 41 for theft, other charges

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Some of the suspects were caught on the security camera Some of the suspects were caught on the security camera
Suspects took different products including meat Suspects took different products including meat
Suspects used a child seat to hide clothes they tried to take Suspects used a child seat to hide clothes they tried to take
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - In two days Polk County Sheriff's deputies from the Organized Crime Unit arrested a total of 41 people, including teenagers, during the operation "Sticky Hands." Deputies said, 37 of those people were put under arrest for retail theft.

The operation was coordinated with the major retail outlets in the county. Most of the arrests took place at a local Walmart. The stolen property ranged in value from about $1.50 to over $900.

“Retail theft is a persistent problem for our retailers, shoplifting drives up the cost of goods we all buy," said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. "If we catch you stealing from a local store, we are going to arrest you and do everything we can to let people know you are a thief. Remember: We give free rides - in the back of a patrol car - if you get caught shoplifting in Polk County.”

Of those arrested six were teenagers, and 18 were on some form of government or public assistance; four people were arrested on drug charges. A total of 32 suspects under arrest had a criminal history.

53-year old Linda Matherly was one of those arrested.  She says, in her case, it was all a big mistake.  Deputies say even though she had more than a thousand dollars in cash on her, she walked out of a Lakeland Walmart without paying for her pet food. 

"I paid for my groceries, and the dog food and cat food was underneath the tray. I forgot totally about it being there."

"We don’t put up with it in Polk County," said Judd about the retail crime.

Copyright WFLA 2014. All rights reserved.

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