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Women arrested in $50,000 Southern California drugstore crime spree

Two women were arrested in Carlsbad after license plate detection cameras flagged their vehicle from more than 20 thefts from drugstores across California.
Credit: Carlsbad Police Department

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Authorities in Carlsbad arrested two women in connection with at least 20 robberies of CVS and Rite Aid drugstores across Southern California.

License plate detection cameras installed on freeway overpasses in the Carlsbad area flagged a vehicle on May 19 around 9 p.m. that was believed to be involved in an organized retail crime ring, according to Carlsbad Police Department. 

The City of Carlsbad deployed 51 fixed license plate reader cameras – each taking shots of plates. There are also six plate reader cameras on patrol cars in the area.

"Based on Corporal Todd’s investigation at the time of the notification, this vehicle and suspects associated with it had been responsible for at least 20 thefts from CVS and Rite Aid stores throughout all of Southern California, with a total value of property stolen of over $50,000," Carlsbad police said in a Facebook post.

Officers canvassed the Carlsbad area and eventually located the suspect's vehicle behind a CVS Pharmacy in the La Costa area of Carlsbad.

While officers were investigating the suspect's vehicle they located, they observed two women leaving the CVS store with "large bags" containing over $1,600 worth of stolen over-the-counter medications and cosmetics.

Authorities searched the suspect's vehicle and ultimately located several garbage bags filled with stolen merchandise valued at over $10,000.

"The two female suspects were booked into jail for grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft," Carlsbad police said.

 The license plate identification technology helped the Carlsbad Police arrest robbery and even homicide suspects, according to the city.

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