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Roy Lee Harvey sneaker bust

Source: LAPD / LAPD

Sneaker heists and robberies have become more and more common over the last few years, but with authorities taking down these sneaker theft rings, thieves may want to rethink their strategies as police are becoming wiser to the game.

Roy Lee Harvey sneaker bust

Source: LAPD / LAPD

Earlier this year, the LAPD busted up a sneaker theft operation that led to them recovering $5 million worth of stolen Nikes and Jordans at a stash house in LA. According to the Los Angeles Times, the people involved in the theft ring paid off people at UPS and even Nike to help them secure millions of dollars worth of stolen merchandise by having them print up fake shipping labels that would “deliberately misdirect or redirect” tons of sneakers across numerous spots in Los Angeles. And that was just the beginning.

Per the Los Angeles Times:

In the theft ring, detectives say, members would “intercept” packages with swapped labels, snatching them up somewhere along the supply chain of docks, highways and warehouses. Sometimes they would hijack packages by swapping addresses with the shipping companies after they had left Nike’s warehouse, according to Sternin’s affidavit.

Sternin said officials from Nike, which had been investigating the thefts internally, contacted the LAPD. Several emails seeking comment from Nike went unreturned.

A Memphis police sergeant working with that department’s cargo theft task force told Sternin that he had been working the case since last June, when he first became aware of “numerous unidentified co-conspirators” working at Nike’s Memphis location.

The ring has also recruited UPS employees in Tennessee and California “and possibly elsewhere within UPS and Nike supply chain network,” according to Sternin.

And we thought FedEx was doing us dirty by “losing” our sneaker shipments in the system. UPS and Nike were also out here in on a whole other kind of scheme SMH.

Ultimately, the investigation led back to one Roy Lee Harvey of Memphis. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities went through his email, iCloud data and cellphone records and found he had more than 1000 exchanges with Nike employees in Memphis, Tn., over a six-month period. Harvey was arrested Jan. 27.

While this may dissuade others from going down the same route that Harvey and his co-conspirators did, don’t think there aren’t others thinking of other ways to cash in on the sneaker market. It’s a billion dollar business with enough hypebeasts to fill a continent.

It’s only a matter of time before another sneaker bust leads to millions of dollars worth of stolen grails as this will only serve as a lesson of how to better prep for the next jux. Hopefully whatever grails you win don’t end up getting “misdirected” to another address.