By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — California Highway Patrol investigators intercepted a stolen shipment of Lululemon leggings with a retail value of more than $200,000.
CHP officials assigned to the Border Division’s Organized Retail Crime Taskforce located 16 boxes of stolen Lululemon leggings located inside a La Habra apartment, officials announced in a news release. There were 1,861 stolen items seized by investigators with a retail value of over $203,000
“According to Lululemon representatives, this is the largest recovery of stolen items in the company’s history,” CHP said in a Monday news release.
The merchandise was stolen from retail locations across the country, including stores in Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. Officials began investigating after being alerted to three large boxes of Lululemon merchandise being shipped from Ohio to the apartment in La Habra.
CHP said the investigation remains ongoing, and “apartment residents claimed no knowledge of what the boxes contained.”
California saw several instances of retail theft at the end of 2021, including a series of “smash and grab” robberies in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta condemned the series of retail thefts, promising to include funding in the state budget to combat retail theft.
Within his budget proposal unveiled in January, Gov. Newsom proposed $356 million over three years to “bolster local law enforcement efforts to crack down on organized retail theft and other crimes, and support affected small businesses.”
Of the $356 million, about $85 million will be made available annually through 2024-2025 for grants to local law enforcement, including police and sheriffs’ departments. Under the program, law enforcement can use the grants to “enforce theft-related laws,” which includes participation in CHP’s task forces, according to the budget proposal.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.