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Plastic thieves are target of LA sheriff's department task force

Plastic crates are seen in this undated file photo.

November 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is cracking down on plastic thieves.

A task force has been set up in the City of Industry. In the past year, it has recovered about $6.5 million worth of items, such as milk crates and pallets.

Detectives said the products are usually left behind stores and are a prime target for suspects.

"Once they collect it, they take it to sites where it's ground, palletized. This plastic grind is then sold to plastic manufacturers," said Sgt. Nabeel Mitry with the LASD.

The task force has arrested at least 50 suspects in the past year. It has also located about 20 locations used to stow or grind the stolen plastic.