Martinsville police shut down retail theft rings 

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - The Martinsville Police Department continues to crack down on organized retail theft rings.

In the past year, it has shut down two rings. It's currently working on a third ring.

On July 24, 2015 investigators said two black men went into a CVS on Church Street and stole hundreds of dollars worth of electric toothbrushes.

Sgt. Robert Hayes said they are "boosters" stealing items as part of an organized retail theft ring.

"We're finding the products being picked up by the boosters and typically being dispersed at various flea markets," said Sgt. Hayes.

Hayes says the "boosters" steal items on a list given to them by their so-called bosses. Most of the items stolen are beauty products, like deodorant or perfume.

According to Hayes, those involved don't stay at one place. So the Martinsville Police Department works with agencies in other states like in North Carolina to stop the rings.

The police departments also work with corporate companies who have become targets of the organized shoplifting.

"We're able to share information and share it with videos and pictures," said Sgt. Hayes. "They're able to provide certain information to confirm which product came from where."

Police Chief Sean Dunn said Facebook and other forms of social media have helped shut down the theft rings.