In a significant development in the fight against supply chain theft, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has announced a major recovery of stolen goods. In a recent operation, detectives have successfully recovered Nike merchandise valued at approximately $5 million, marking a crucial victory in a city grappling with a surge in cargo thefts.
The year 2023 witnessed an alarming increase in theft across supply chains, particularly impacting high-value items such as sneakers. Reports from CargoNet highlighted a staggering 63% rise in such crimes compared to the previous year. Notable incidents included:
- A brazen theft from cargo trains in Los Angeles.
- A $400,000 heist in Memphis.
- The seizure of $7 million worth of stolen goods in LA.
On January 27, 2024, LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division’s Cargo Theft Unit, Major Theft Task Force, and the Organized Retail Crimes Task Force joined forces to execute two search warrants in Hollywood and the City of Hawthorne, California. The focus of these raids was a warehouse in Hawthorne, identified as a critical location where a suspect was observed delivering stolen Nike products.
According to KTLA, Nike’s Global Security Director and supply chain investigators supported the operation to recover the stolen Nike goods. The Hawthorne warehouse was filled with thousands of pairs of Nike shoes, along with clothing and accessories. The total value of the recovered items was estimated at a staggering $5 million.
The investigation culminated in the arrest of 37-year-old Roy Lee Harvey Jr., who is believed to have played a central role in receiving, redistributing, and reselling stolen property. Harvey was booked on charges of Receiving Stolen Property.
The images released by the LAPD offer a striking visual of the scale of this operation. They show a mountain of Nike boxes, rare pairs like the Nike Air Foamposite Paranorman, and shelving with Project Blitz's branding, the famous resale shop that is invite-only. Project Blitz is known for its high-profile clientele, including celebrities like Drake, and for procuring rare samples.
It’s not confirmed that Project Blitz is involved in this case or if they deal with stolen products, whether directly or indirectly. As the investigation is just getting underway, more facts and information from this massive raid will be available to the public in the coming weeks. Download the Sole Retriever mobile app for more updates on this case and the latest happenings in sneakers, streetwear, and more.