'Operation Whoville' Nabs Alleged Thieves

More than 50 people arrested in Chicago crackdown on retail theft ring.
1:34 | 11/21/11

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Transcript for 'Operation Whoville' Nabs Alleged Thieves
These are not your average shoplifters who swiped something they've got their eye on to take -- and -- Authorities say these are professionals are going to stores with a plan to grab the items they know they can sell quickly then get out. They know what they're looking for when they go into the story. Things that they know that they can fence and get paid well for. It's big business costing the state nearly eighty million dollars a year in tax revenue costing retailers many millions more. -- even have a name. Posters who that's their day job is they -- in and they steal. They have a place in which -- an offense the the -- to before they're going oftentimes going with shopping lists. That's why the county along with federal and local authorities as well as retailers set up a task force to focus on catching these rings in the -- Rather than after the fact for this undercover investigation they call operation who -- They arrested 59 suspects. Including 65 year old Phillip and Zurich to of Skokie who's accused of walking out of a north Michigan avenue boutique. Which is 5000 dollar vase. It's proactive in nature and it's really important -- these people go from Walt small -- can -- we're going to be waiting for the next time -- -- boosting. Authorities admit shoplifting may seem less significant and other violent crimes but they say it affects consumers more than they realize. Especially heading into the holiday shopping season with the stores will be more crowded. It's gonna impact the price of the the item that we Soledad because we have to offset that four. For all the fact that occurs.

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

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