A gang of shoplifters targeting Tractor Supply Company (TSC) stores in Ohio and surrounding states filched an estimated $10,000 from the retailer in recent months.
About $500 of that total came from London’s TSC, located at 304 Lafayette St., according to a police report.
Officer Greg Perkins said his department is one of numerous jurisdictions in four or five states investigating three thieves that appear to be working together.
TSC executives alerted authorities on April 15 to incidents that occurred locally between Jan. 21 and Feb. 14.
Perkins said the scam was unsophisticated, but successful.
Thieves would shoplift items from a TSC store, then return them for “in-store credit” at a distant outlet in the chain. Using the credit slip, they would buy merchandise of equal or greater value — sometimes paying a slight cost difference.
With a legitimate sales receipt in hand, the thieves would travel to a third store and return the merchandise for a full cash refund.
“It’s not rocket science,” Perkins said. “They are manipulating the return policy.”
TSC recently altered the company’s return policy to halt the shoplifting scam.
Clerks in the London outlet are on the lookout in case the gang returns to the areas .
According to the company website, TSC is the leading retail farm and ranch store brand in America with 1,276 stores in 48 states. TSC was founded in 1938 in North Dakota and is now based in Brentwood, Tenn.
Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.