SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said it charged 13 people during a retail theft operation in Sarasota.
Over three days in early August, members of the agency’s tactical unit focused on interrupting retail theft and identifying criminal activity in the university town center area, deputies said.
Deputies said they worked with loss prevention personnel at Macy’s and Dillard’s to identify individuals attempting to steal merchandise.
The 13 people charged have 178 prior felony and misdemeanor charges with 54 convictions, deputies said.
The 13 people now face a total of 20 new charges, the sheriff’s office said.
“Retail theft operations require planning, manpower, and days of focused enforcement, but as you can see, are well worth it,” said Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman. “We rely on our partnerships with retailers and loss prevention personnel to identify criminal activity and hopefully, disrupt it before these businesses lose money. With the holiday season just around the corner, citizens can expect to see more focused efforts along retail corridors where deputies will maintain a presence and catch these criminals every chance they get.”