Valley CHP arrests dozens in Fresno, Kern counties during weekend retail theft bust

After viral organized thefts hit malls in Topanga and Glendale, CHP officers clamped down on organized theft rings in the San Joaquin Valley.

More than 50 suspects were arrested by the California Highway Patrol over the weekend in connection to various organized retail crimes. 

Driving the news: The CHP Central Division Organized Retail Crime Task Force conducted three “Blitz” operations on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 in Fresno and Kern Counties. 


  • The operation resulted in 51 suspects being arrested and 697 assets recovered worth over $58,000. 
  • The suspects were arrested for organized retail crime, shoplifting, grand theft, petty theft, criminal conspiracy, resisting arrest, possession of controlled substances, possession of burglary tools and possession of a stolen vehicle. 
  • Specifically, the Blitz operation included the Walmart Supercenter at Shaw Ave. and Brawley Ave. in Fresno, which recently had been the scene of a shooting and stabbing in the parking lot. 
  • Blitz operations are collaborative efforts between law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals in which they identify, deter and prevent rampant theft and loss of merchandise from local retail stores. 

What they’re saying: “The CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force is an example of how law enforcement agencies can work together, along with the private sector to tackle crime, with their focus on collaboration and technology,” the CHP said in a statement. “Similar operations will continue to be conducted in the Central Valley and around the State in response to criminal activities related to organized retail theft crime.”

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