Police: Tips led to arrests in thefts seen in viral video

A Connecticut State Police cruiser.

DERBY, Conn. (AP) — Viral videos of thieves loading up a car with items from a grocery store have helped police arrest three suspects.

In one widely seen video from last month, four people were seen loading more than $1,600 worth of items, mostly laundry detergent, into two vehicles outside a store in Oxford.

One of the men had shoved a manager to the ground who asked if the items had been paid for, police said at the time.

State police announced the arrests of three people last week and said tips from the public helped the investigation. The group was caught on video multiple times, police said.

Information contained in arrest warrants revealed that police received a tip from someone who recognized one of the women seen in a video as someone who lived in his housing complex in New Haven, the Connecticut Post reported.

Two more callers also identified the woman, police said. Police also seized a minivan at the complex that was believed to be involved in the Oxford theft and others.

A different caller identified two men in the group, according to police. The three were charged with larceny and conspiracy in the Oxford theft and were scheduled to make court appearances this week. Police believe the group may also be responsible for thefts at stores in Wallingford, Clinton, Old Lyme, Ansonia, Southington and Danbury.

Last month the National Retail Federation said a recent survey of retailers found stores were seeing an uptick in thefts, with the perpetrators being more aggressive. Experts said factors include stores using a less confrontational approach to shoplifters over the years and the ease of reselling stolen goods online.