NORTHBOROUGH – Two men, according to police, said more than $ 14,000 worth of clothing stolen from numerous Dick’s Sporting Goods stores appeared to be part of an organized retail theft ring.
Police arrested the two men – a 33-year-old man in Port Washington, New York, and a 37-year-old man, Elizabeth, New Jersey, at around 1:10 p.m. Friday.
“They traveled from the New Jersey area the day before (Thursday) and stole a lot of Dick’s sporting goods in New England,” Acting Lt. Brian Griffin said. “They said they were going to take it back to New York to sell it. I don’t know if they were going to sell it online or send it overseas.
There are 10 Dick’s sporting goods in Massachusetts, including the one in Northborough, as well as locations in Natick, Dedham, Worcester, Millbury and Leominster.
On Friday, store workers saw the New Jersey man walk into the store, fill a large bag with clothes, and leave the store without paying. They saw him get into a car and the police gave a description to the police. They stopped the vehicle on Rte. 9.
“It was a booster bag,” Griffin said. “A lot of theft networks use them. They prevent many safety devices from triggering. This was done by hand using foil and tape.
The man was holding the bag when police stopped the car and reportedly found around $ 1,500 worth of clothing – mostly Nike products – stolen from the Northborough store.
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There were also several large suitcases in the car full of Nike clothing and other Dick’s sporting goods that still bore the tags, as well as the hangers. The value was over $ 14,000, Griffin said.
“Obviously this was not for personal use,” Griffin said. “For example, they had 70 black Nike T-shirts. They had 75 pairs of Nike sports pants. It’s like they have a list and they’re targeting specific items.
Investigators are working with Dick’s to determine which stores the stolen clothes came from. It’s believed to be all from stores in Massachusetts or other parts of New England, Griffin said.
A spokesperson for Dick’s Sporting Goods could not be reached for comment.
Police charged the two men with theft over $ 1,200, conspiracy to commit a felony and receiving stolen property valued at over $ 1,200.
This is not the first time this month that Nike products have targeted Dick’s. At 3 a.m. on July 10, a still unknown person threw a rock through the large glass doors at 3 a.m. to break into the store and steal two pairs of Nike shoes. No one has been arrested, Griffin said.
On Monday, the New Jersey man was sentenced to $ 500 bail when he appeared in Westborough District Court. The results of the New York man’s indictment were not available.
Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or [email protected] For up-to-date public safety information, follow Norman Miller on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW or on Facebook at facebook.com/NormanMillerCrime.