Five people have been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting $30,000 in merchandise from 43 drug stores in the Valley, Peoria police said.
Investigators worked for more than a month on the case and learned the group would enter Walgreen's and CVS Pharmacy stores with a shopping list of items people wanted and then sold the items for cash.
Police said the group targeted large quantities of cosmetics, medication and hygiene products from drug stores in Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Avondale and Litchfield Park.
Surveillance video showed the suspects stuffing the items down their seemly loose fitting pants, officers said. Investigators were able to learn the suspects were using specially altered pants known as "booster pants."
The pants are able to conceal large quantities of merchandise. The suspects wore two pairs of pants, police said. The bottom pair was taped at the ankles and the outer pair was a baggier pair which would conceal the bulges caused by the stolen merchandise, according to investigators.
On Feb. 15, investigators arrested 27-year-old Tiffany Galiendo-Flores, 40-year-old David Guimont and 39-year-old Juanita Guimont on charges of organized retail theft and conspiracy.
About two weeks later, investigators were able to identify and arrest two more members of the group. They are identified as 21-year-old Andrea Hammerle and 31-year-old Charles Hammerle.
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