Hari's Food Mart owner charged in shoplifting scheme - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Business owner charged in shoplifting scheme

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An undercover operation by the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department and Kroger supermarket loss prevention officers, which began on Feb. 11, has led to the arrest of a business owner who was purchasing stolen items to re-sell in his store.

Jay Suryekant Patel, 33, of Savannah, co-owner of Hari's Food Mart in the 2200 block of Habersham Street, was charged with theft by receiving stolen property and fencing of retail property on Wednesday.

The investigation revealed that Patel would tell the shoplifters which items he wished to purchase and them buy them from the shoplifters at greatly reduced prices. The investigation also revealed that other businesses could be involved in similar schemes.

Kroger tracked the items being stolen and worked with police to secure the arrests. The stolen items purchased by the store included specific brands of bar soap, fabric softener, detergent, razors, headache powders, batteries and body wash.

"After his arrest we were able to go inside and look for our product," said Detective Nicholas Gorgos. "We had previously marked it with an ultraviolet marker, so we would know when we shined a light on it, we would know it was ours."

Authorities are continuing to investigate the process and the potential that other shoplifters and businesses may be involved.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 912.234.2020 or text CRIMES (274637).

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