CMPD Launches Organized Retail Crime Task Force; First Suspect Identified

The Latest (2/1/19):

The CMPD says their new Organized Retail Crime Task Force has identified their first suspect.

According to CMPD, a warrant has been issued for Ahmad Lee Al-Hajdeib for his involvement in a theft from a Home Depot on University City Boulevard on October 25th, 2018.  Police say Al-Hajdeib  entered Home Depot and  filled a shopping cart with power tools before exiting Home Depot without paying for the merchandise and leaving the scene in this vehicle.

Ahmad Lee Al-Hajdeib

A sworn member of the CMPD recognized Al-Hajdeib in the images disseminated by the task force.

Anyone with information on the location of Mr. Al-Hajdeib is asked to call 911 or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.


Original Story (1/30/2019):

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has announced the launch of a new Organized Retail Crime Task Force aimed at reducing organized retail crime in the area.

Detectives from nine divisions within CMPD make up the task force and work together to identify and arrest offenders by studying patterns and trends and working with law enforcement and retail business partners.

“We aren’t talking about kids stealing candy bars,” said Lieutenant Rob Sprague.  “The people involved in organized retail crime are walking out of stores with garbage bags full of undergarments or shopping carts full of expensive tools.”

The CMPD says Charlotte area business lose millions of dollars through merchandise theft each year and pass those losses on to consumers.  Police investigated over 6,000 shoplifting cases in 2018.

The CMPD’s partnership with the Carolinas Organized Retail Crime Alliance also aids the efforts to curtail organized retail crime.

“On behalf of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, the South Carolina Retail Association and the Carolinas Food Industry Council applaud the efforts of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to combat organized retail crime,” said Ann Edmondson, Senior Director of Communications with CORCA.

“The formation of the Organized Retail Theft Task Force within CMPD will further strengthen the partnership with CORCA, the retail community and other law enforcement agencies. The commitment of CMPD to focus efforts on organized retail crime is an important step to helping combat a crime that is not only disastrous for retailers, costs and poses significant harm to consumers by exposing them to dangerous products, but also finances other criminal activities.”

The community can assist law enforcement’s efforts by calling 911 when they witness a theft and safely gathering any information that might be useful in identifying the suspects.

Useful information consists of photographs and video, license plate numbers, and vehicle descriptions.  Police say not to physically intervene, but remain on scene to tell responding officers what you saw.

Citizens can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 which allows anyone to remain anonymous and pays reward money for information leading to an arrest.

The individuals in the gallery above are WANTED for thefts at the Home Depot on University City Boulevard in Charlotte.  If you recognize any of these suspects, please call 911 or Crime Stoppers.