Georgia police arrested three suspects after they allegedly stole $26,000 worth of powdered baby formula from metro Atlanta supermarkets.
According to the Cartersville Police Department, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert to law enforcement agencies in the area requesting officers keep their eyes peeled for a car suspected of being involved in a series of shoplifting incidents at Publix supermarkets in which cans of baby formula were taken.
Cartersville Police officers located the vehicle on Thursday in the parking lot at the city’s Publix on 300 Cherokee Place. Officers then waited for the suspects to leave the store.
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Regulo Sanchez-Romero, Mateo Sanchez-Romero, and a 16-year-old juvenile were taken into custody after they exited the store carrying 12 cans of stolen powdered baby formula.
Officers searched the vehicle and discovered an additional 662 cans valued at $26,000, police said.
The two adults were charged with felony theft by shoplifting, felony theft by receiving and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Regulo Sanchez-Romero was also charged with driving while unlicensed and Mateo Sanchez-Romero was also charged with providing a false name and date of birth.
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Both men gave officers Dallas, addresses, police said. They were both booked into the Bartow County Jail.
Investigators are working to determine if the suspects were also responsible for similar thefts in other jurisdictions.
This comes as baby formula has been difficult to find over the past year after FDA inspectors temporarily shut down the largest domestic formula factory in the U.S. because of bacterial contamination.