Two charged as part of investigations into coordinated theft and sale of baby formula

Bankstown detectives have charged two people as investigations continue into the alleged coordinated theft and distribution of baby formula in Sydney’s south-west.

Earlier this year, detectives from Bankstown Police Area Command received information from retailers relating to the coordinated theft and on-supply of baby formula in the local area.

The information was referred to Strike Force Polar to investigate the activities of the suspected syndicate.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested a 45-year-old man during a vehicle stop at Gibson Avenue, Padstow, about 11am yesterday (Tuesday 26 May 2020).

A short time later, strike force detectives executed search warrants at a business at Bankstown and a home at Chester Hill.

During the searches, police seized over 250 tins of baby formula, $45,000 cash and various other health and beauty items, which are believed to be stolen.

The owner of the Bankstown store – a 41-year-old woman – was also arrested during the operation.

Both the man and woman were taken to Bankstown Police Station.

The man was charged with thirty-five counts of shoplifting, six counts of dispose property – theft – serious indictable offence, drive while disqualified, and breach of bail.

Police will allege in court that the man was involved in the coordinated theft of items from retailers across Sydney and on-sold the product.

The woman was charged with four counts of receive property – theft – serious indictable offence, and six counts of recklessly deal with proceeds of crime.

Police will allege in court that the woman was knowingly receiving stolen goods and on-selling them in the Bankstown shop.

Both have been refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court today (Wednesday 27 May 2020).

Investigations under Strike Force Polar are continuing and further arrests are expected.

Anyone with information in relation to the coordinated theft or distribution of baby formula is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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