Miami “Plastic Crate” Theft Ring Busted


MIAMI (AP) _ An eight-month investigation into missing plastic crates from retail stores across Miami-Dade County has ended with the arrest of 20 people.

Miami-Dade police spokesman Daniel Ferrin tells The Miami Herald that the theft ring managed to steal more than $1.5 million worth of plastic crates used to carry milk and bread to stores.

Police say the crates were shredded and sold to recycling centers.

WTVJ-TV reports that while conducting the arrests Thursday, investigators found 2,900 milk crates at one facility, in addition to bags filled with an estimated $30,000 worth of shredded plastic.

The 20 suspects face charges of criminal racketeering and other civil violations.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says the thefts led to the cost of a gallon of milk rising by about a nickel.