An all-night stake-out of a Home Depot to catch “boosters”

About a dozen detectives from the California Highway Patrol recently staked out a Home Depot in the Los Angeles area for a nightlong “blitz” in which they attempted to catch “boosters” in the act of shoplifting. A “booster” is a professional thief who typical sells to a “fence”—someone who resells the items (often power tools).

This information comes from a superb article in the Oct. 18 issue of the New Yorker magazine. “Anyone caught stealing [is] handcuffed, taken to a back room, and questioned. What did they plan to do with these items? Did they take them on behalf of someone else?” Organized retail crime has gone into overdrive in the world of online selling, with so many places to sell stolen goods.