Operation Got Milk busts major baby formula theft ring in Central Florida

Millions of dollars made in sale of stolen products, officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. - A theft ring that netted millions of dollars by stealing baby formula from Central Florida grocery stores has been busted, according to officials.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said an investigation began in 2012 when it was discovered that thieves were stealing large amounts of baby formula from grocery stores in the Central Florida area, including Publix, Walmart, Winn Dixie and Target, and selling it.

The person or group who bought the stolen formula sold it to grocery stores in the northern part of the United States, making millions of dollars, authorities said.

The investigation ended after law enforcement officers conducted several months of surveillance and arrests of the alleged thieves and the buyer of the stolen product. 

More details will be released later Thursday.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor were involved in the investigation.

The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation assisted with arrests.

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