A California Police department initiative dubbed, ‘Operation Grinch,’ targeting retail theft resulted in one suspect ditching their accomplice before fleeing police, tossing stolen items out of the vehicle and crashing.

The Roseville Police Department said in a social media post that officers working as part of Operation Grinch had two incidents on Saturday where suspects attempted to walk out of retail stores with merchandise without paying.

The initiative comes as many cities across the U.S. continue to see a rise in retail theft.

Officers working with Target’s loss prevention team were monitoring two suspects who filled two storage bins with merchandise before leaving the store.

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Operation Grinch team members, though, referred to as Grinch personnel, stopped the two suspects as they walked out, then placed them under arrest. 

Later that night, officers working at a local mall were watching a suspicious vehicle when one suspect ran out of the mall with merchandise stolen from Lululemon.

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While leaving in a rush, police said, the suspect left his partner in crime behind.

Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the suspect continued to flee from officers.

While leading officers on a chase, the suspect was seen throwing stolen merchandise from Lululemon out of the vehicle and onto the highway.

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At one point, police said, the suspect attempted to make an off-road maneuver onto the shoulder of the highway before crashing and being taken into custody.

Both the accomplice and the suspect were arrested.

Retail crime continues to rise across the U.S., and last week, was at the center of a congressional hearing.

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The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement and Intelligence held a hearing titled, “From Festive Cheer to Retail Fear: Addressing Organized Retail Crime” last Tuesday.

Subcommittee Chair August Pfluger, R-Texas, blamed “soft-on-crime policies” for the problematic trend in a statement announcing the hearing.

“By putting criminals over communities, families, and small business owners, hardworking Americans across the country are being forced to pay the financial and emotional costs of these failed policies,” Pfluger said.

“Amid an unprecedented spike in retail crime, reports also suggest many professional shoplifters or boosters are part of a much larger organization of criminals — including transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that are taking advantage of our open borders,” he added.

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Big chain stores like CVS and others have been forced to lock up merchandise behind plastic barriers to keep them from being stolen off the shelves.

A recent survey by the National Retail Federation found that 70% of retailers believe organized retail theft has become a more prevalent issue in recent years.

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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