The sneaker industry has been grappling with a sharp rise in thefts, a troubling trend that has extended across the broader supply chain. This issue was again highlighted in a recent Los Angeles incident, where the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) uncovered stolen Nike sneakers during a narcotics investigation. CBS Los Angeles reported that the LAPD discovered stolen Nike sneakers while serving a search warrant. More specifically, photos showcased boxes with the style code for the Nike Air Max Pulse Black Grey Laser Blue.
This discovery is a small part of a more significant industry problem. The first half of 2023 saw a staggering 63% increase in thefts across the supply chain compared to the same period in the previous year. These incidents aren't isolated to Los Angeles; other cities have been hit hard, too. Memphis, for instance, reported one theft totaling nearly $1 million in goods in 2022 and $400,000 in 2023. Additionally, Los Angeles experienced another significant theft, with $7 million worth of stolen goods seized, while Chicago recently uncovered $5 million in stolen sneakers, technology, and apparel. Alongside these supply chain thefts, we recently saw Chicago rocked by smash-and-grab robberies.
The recent discoveries by law enforcement agencies underscore the need for heightened security measures in transporting and storing goods. As the demand for popular sneaker brands like Nike continues to surge, so does the incentive for theft, posing significant challenges for the industry and law enforcement.
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