COVINGTON, Ga. — Tens of thousands of dollars' worth of clothing went flying onto the highway when a car crashed during a chase by police.
Police told Channel 2's Tom Regan that a shoplifting ring stole all of the clothes from Macy's stores along the East Coast.
The chase along Interstate 20 in Covington came to a crashing end when state police tipped the back of a SUV to stop it.
What happened next came as complete surprise.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting all that merchandise to be in the car,” Covington police Officer Justin Stott told Regan.
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Much of that merchandise went flying onto the highway, including hundreds and hundreds of new dresses, pants, shirts and more.
Investigators said all the clothing was stolen from Macy’s stores in the Southeast by a ring of shoplifting thieves.
“They're estimating that it's $50,000 to $60,000 worth of merchandise taken from stores in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia,” Stott said.
Police say the brazen thieves bolted into the department stores, grabbed armfuls of clothing from the shelves and ran out.
Their criminal business plan included reselling the merchandise for a quick profit, investigator said.
"These clothing items were being taken from the stores and being sold for pennies on the dollar," Stott said.
Organized shoplifting crime costs clothing and other retail businesses billions each year, and the losses are mounting.
But in this case, the thieves didn't get away.
“This is the second largest recovery of retail theft that Macy's had had this year," Stott said.
Cox Media Group