Busting Organized Retail Crime Rings

Inside the world of shoplifting operations and the secret police forces hot on their trail.
3:00 | 02/26/13

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Transcript for Busting Organized Retail Crime Rings
Imagine this as a plot line for ocean's fourteen. The -- knock it over casinos are art museums Clooney Pitt again turn their thieving skills towards a really juicy target. The supermarket. -- as crazy as it sounds organized shoplifting rings. Are now selling milk hide and razor blades on the black market to the tune of thirty billion dollars a year. Enough to inspire retailers to form specialized undercover units and ABC's nick walk along with one of them. -- -- -- We used to -- shoplifting and so yeah. I'd be -- person with a razor blade and cut people could be nothing to be something that influenced. It's highly organized crime rings. The business they'll have tagged with -- good. Shoplifters -- boosters they sell the stuff -- someone called defense there's even an acronym ORC. Organized weeks. This just like fortune 500 company well this is just organize it. It costs the retailer industry more than thirteen billion dollars a year everything from me to razors. And milk. -- You name it tide detergent current -- target compacts expensive easy to shift on the streets calling. Liquid gold sometimes we get -- than just problem. And he gets -- -- do meet and see through the -- has moved on for cents on the dollar to fencing operations and sold in plain sight what do you think stolen. Well. Probably just about everything under -- fragrance clothing. Highly sophisticated shoplifting networks booster expenses mr. -- can make millions of dollars. -- -- As Mike Mike's way. Is on the case. Riverside county sheriff's deputy badly injured in a car -- sweat. Is now -- full time private investigator. Arce -- hired by stores from TJ Maxx marshalls and helping cops. Kelly we're gonna narcotics case in nicely got low level mid level in the top dog Wheeling through after the top dog in -- -- to get to the top dog has. The level first. He's been -- to joints in LA for months he suspects -- mid level fencing operations and we -- -- Sweat works with undercover agents -- go into the store for a final. Reconnaissance mission we're gonna repression of the evidence. That led us to the search warrant that we're gonna execute next Tuesday. Here's the Covert. Video device it's go time their approach and now. They're walking up the sidewalk sweat says these stolen goods on display he's. He thinks he has enough. We know -- it up and handed over to detective park. Great day has arrived and -- squad cars department -- -- at least. We joined. Race every story in every city has got -- they wait went on the wanting attention than they want help others and -- of the store clerks aren't. She enjoys getting paid eight. Your neck on the line to stop their practice -- stop them. The store clerks they let them run they don't want their employees -- to be injured. Oftentimes they'll call the police the by the time we get this area and a guard -- and are gone. Leaving guys like Mike sweat to put the pieces together to bust open the -- to leave overstretched police department -- their race. There in the rate is zone and -- it. All that down here is Victoria secrets. Expenses Victoria's secrets. To -- sets -- Max JC -- that's all the same. It's not rip off stuff -- like counterfeit genuine but cut price Katy Perry apparently right there at list prices ninety bucks. She's selling -- for 59 -- it's important inspectors from various stores -- in the place everything is photographed. And the cops go off. For sweat. That student -- -- so many more together it happens in every corner of the country. Had this secret warehouse in northern Indiana millions of dollars worth that we claimed stolen merchandise. Is being stored. This particular case here -- involved. About forty plus boosters. That fed. Back to -- About seventy million dollar your operation. That's Jerry Biggs director of Walgreens organized retail crime division. Biggs and his team are that James -- retail crime armed with tracking devices radios. Hidden cameras. -- -- -- This -- goes through sixty. Mom who was wounded Americans recording what's going on that should be and as well. -- certainly think he's -- -- -- clear. Obsessed with today's technology and I can have your face. Pretty much. Throughout the country. -- sentiments. Pins in the -- -- shoplifting hot -- flow charts connect members of various gangs -- infant milk is a big target it's easy to steal. Expense. -- library of surveillance tapes. As a stand up guy and Texas wearing a suit swiping a tray of diabetic test strips total value thousand dollars and consent to Rivera -- room. And the world. Two days later he was stopped by traffic copes with 4000 bucks worth -- in his -- charged with possession of controlled drugs. And stolen property these women seemed to have somehow got -- of the keys to display cases that police are still looking to question them. I'm amazed their return nobody can come at a store. Within anywhere from fortified minutes' walk out with anywhere from 400 to 2000 bought the mark. And nobody knows what happens. Brown meanwhile back in LA -- companies are all the owners of the stores arrested for. -- -- -- -- -- From -- went. Is -- the result a lot of boxes. Answer what is that I don't -- it. -- command center -- his apartment he showed -- -- silent. -- His glory you're never gonna actually stall people stealing stones nobody injured a -- try. And it boosters watching tonight be warned you might be being watched Mike sweat. Might be behind. I'm nick -- for Nightline in Los Angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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