SHAH ALAM, Dec 10 — Selangor police crippled a baby formula theft syndicate led by a 41-year-old woman in two separate raids last week.
Police investigations revealed the woman had 12 previous records related to drugs and theft.
The syndicate had been terrorising hypermarkets and 24-hour convenience stores in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan and Malacca for over a year.
The woman and her members came under police radar on Wednesday after a cashier of a hypermarket in Section 28 spotted three “customers” behaving suspiciously.
Selangor police chief Datuk Shukri Dahlan said the cashier saw the trio hiding several tins of milk in their bags.
“The cashier shouted at them and they fled taking with them several tins of milk,” he said.
Shukri said the cashier lodged a police report.
On Friday, a police team from the Criminal Investigations Department managed to track down five of the suspects who took the baby formula to a medicine shop in Jalan Klang Lama.
“The suspects were negotiating with the shop owner to buy the stolen goods,” he said.
“We detained the five along with the shop owner and his five workers.”
Two hours later, police picked up another two syndicate members at an apartment in Taman Sri Sentosa.
Shukri said the 12 suspects were aged between 24 and 55.
“Six of them have previous criminal records related to drugs and theft,” he said.
He said the syndicate members usually moved in a group of three to five people. Some of the members would distract shop workers and the cashier while the other members sneaked out items from the shop.
Police also seized RM10,000 worth of milk powder during the raid.
Shukri said the shop owner and his workers were also arrested for buying stolen items.