MORE than 100 shoplifters have been caught red-handed stealing more than $17,000 worth of items in a massive pre-Christmas blitz across Sydney.
The tree-day operation, code-named Lightfingers, was launched on Wedensday and wrapped up on Friday.
Officers were out in force, targeting shoplifting in a number of major retail outlets across the Sydney CBD, Broadway, Redfern and Bondi Junction.
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In all, police arrested 108 people on 120 charges and recovered more than $17,300 worth of stolen goods.
A 24-year-old woman has spent the last three nights locked up behind bars after she was allegedly caught stealing from a shopping centre at Bondi Junction on Thursday.
The woman allegedly tried leaving the centre with a trolley full of toiletries, cosmetics, and baby formula that she allegedly never paid for.
Police arrested the woman and took her to Waverley Police Station where she was charged with shoplifting more than $2000 worth of goods.
She was remanded in custody on Thursday night and fronted Waverley Local Court on Friday where she was formally refused bail.
The woman will spend at least another three nights behind bars ahead of her next appearance on Wednesday, December 19.
Redfern Region Enforcement Squad Commander, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell said the festive season generally sees an increase in customers and can therefore create opportunities for shoplifters.
“The busy period of Christmas with the influx of shoppers can often be seen as an opportunistic time for potential shoplifters to target retailers while staff members are busy with customers,” Det Ch Insp Bell said.
“We coordinate Operation Lightfingers not only at Christmas, but throughout the year, which allows police and retail staff to work together to target possible thieves, and send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can steal goods without paying for it.
“While significant improvements in surveillance technology and an increase in loss prevention officers have made an impact on the rates of retail theft, it continues to cost the industry billions of dollars each year.
“I can assure the community that we are committed to continuing our operations that target shoplifting and this sort of criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.