NewsFront RangeWheat Ridge


Wheat Ridge police see spike in organized retail crime

retail theft.png
Posted at 10:14 PM, Nov 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-25 00:14:47-05

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — While Black Friday shoppers are checking gifts off their holiday lists, Sergeant Keith Weimer with the Wheat Ridge Police Department said crime rings are making their lists, too.

According to the National Retail Federation, there’s been a surge in organized retail crime. Last year, businesses lost $112 billion due to theft — up 19% from the year before.

The Denver metro area is not immune to these crimes. One woman was caught on security video filling a bag with high-end fragrances at the Ulta location in the Applewood Village shopping center. The woman is seen making her way through the aisles with an employee right on her heels before walking out the front door.

Wheat Ridge police said the woman returned to the store two more times and stole a total of $6,000-worth of perfume and cologne.

Wheat Ridge police see spike in organized retail crime

Weimer said thieves have specific items on their lists — from cosmetics to Tide detergent to vitamins — which they then sell on the black market.

“In our experience, they're jumping from one city to the next,” said Weimer.

Stores are not the only ones bearing the cost of retail theft. It’s estimated organized retail crime costs the average family more than $500 per year.

While stores are implementing anti-theft measures, you likely won’t see employees getting involved.

“A lot of it is concerned about litigation and also just the well-being of their employees,” Weimer explained.

Breaking the crime rings apart comes down to help from other police departments across the Denver metro.

“While we might have a single instance here in Wheat Ridge, they may have had 50, 60 in their jurisdiction, and they already have a good background and idea of the other players involved,” said Weimer.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.