Police in the Chicago area found a warehouse full of stolen high-end shoes and other merchandise earlier this week, CBS reported.

Officers from Lyons, Illinois, began investigating the warehouse last week after a reported retail theft led them to the site in the West Side of Chicago, according to CBS. They uncovered a “minimum” of $5 million worth of stolen merchandise at the warehouse, including unreleased Nike shoes, Uggs, Supreme merchandise and clothing.

“What they would do is they’d commit these cargo thefts, like from Memphis, Tennessee. They’d re-label it, and they would ship it here,” Lyons Police Chief Tom Herion told CBS. “They would unpackage it, repackage it, and it’s a 100% markup, because they got it all for nothing.”

The thieves advertised via word of mouth and social media posts to attract customers and retailers, who had no idea that they were purchasing stolen goods, CBS reported. The Illinois district attorney’s office and several railroad companies had reportedly been monitoring the site for some time before the bust because of suspicious activity in the area.

Retail theft cost companies billions of dollars in 2022 and theft has increased by nearly 20% since 2021. Cargo theft has cost the retail industry at least $40 million between April and June, and total cargo theft this year has increased by 57% compared to 2022, Cargo Net News, a company that tracks theft statistics, reported.

The Lyons Police Department, the Illinois DA’s office, Nike, Supreme and Uggs did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

Lillian Tweten on October 10, 2023

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