Four St. Paul mom-and-pop stores have been busted this week for reselling stolen goods in a sting operation led by St. Paul police Sgt. Charles Anderson.
When Anderson began investigating a series of robberies at big-box retailers on University Avenue late last year, he realized that the stolen goods were not for personal use, according to the Pioneer Press. Once Anderson began following the trail, he noticed that the stolen goods were reappearing at lower prices in small mom-and-pop shops around St. Paul.
Six people have been charged in the sting operation, nicknamed "Operation Pacifier" because of the large amounts of baby formula that were stolen.
Police chose to go after stores reselling the stolen goods-rather than the thieves-because the stores create the demand that fuels thefts, says the Star Tribune.