ROME, Ga. — Floyd County police raided a secondhand store last week and seized nearly $90,000 worth of stolen merchandise.
Shoplifters swiped the products from major retail stores across multiple counties.
The stores targeted included Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Academy Sports.
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“There was a tremendous amount of merchandise. A lot of it still had tags and stickers. We are talking about vacuum cleaners, televisions, GPS units, maternity supplies, toothbrushes and 84 baseball bats valued at $23,000,” said Floyd County police spokesman Chris Fincher.
Police said the owner of the secondhand store, Earl Lamar Renfroe Jr., bought the stolen merchandise from shoplifters and then sold it to customers in store and online.
Investigators say they learned of the alleged retail theft scheme after Cartersville police arrested a man shoplifting at a Home Depot.
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That led to the arrest of Renfroe on charges of receiving stolen property.
It’s one of the largest seizures of stolen property in Floyd County, and police say they aren’t finished counting.
“We feel there is still stolen property here. We also feel there may be evidence from burglaries also in here,” Fincher said.
The store owner is being held in jail without bond. Police say there could be additional arrests.
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Many of the major retail stores targeted have been able to identify and reclaim stolen merchandise.
Nationwide, retailers reported over $70 billion in stolen merchandise last year.
Georgia lawmakers are looking at ways to stop illegal online sales of stolen and counterfeit items. A bill introduced this legislative session would make online sellers reveal who they are and not sell things anonymously.
The “Inform Consumers Act” would require third-party, high-volume sellers to provide accurate information like name, address and prevents them from being anonymous. The act also gives consumers some civil recourse if they feel they’ve unintentionally purchased stolen or counterfeit goods.
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