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(Orlando Sentinel)   Police shut down a multi-million dollar theft ring that specialized in stealing expensive: A) electronics; B) cars; C) baby formula   (orlandosentinel.com ) divider line
    More: Florida  
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1946 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jul 2014 at 2:54 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



61 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-07-04 11:37:38 AM  
Babbys are big business.
 
2014-07-04 01:55:41 PM  
How much of the baby formula made it to babies, and how much made it to drug manufacturers who wanted to cut drugs with it?
 
2014-07-04 02:57:26 PM  
Makes sense, baby formula is one of the most often shoplifted items. This is just a scaling up.
 
2014-07-04 02:57:39 PM  
So...they got like 20 or 30 cans in that bust.

/Formula is expensive, yo.
//KSDRTFA
///Slashies, because.
 
2014-07-04 02:59:33 PM  
I don't think stealing from Walmart counts as a white collar crime.
 
2014-07-04 03:00:57 PM  
Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.
 
2014-07-04 03:01:05 PM  
Someone is crying over this.
 
2014-07-04 03:01:50 PM  
I believe it. Some of the specialty stuff for babbies who can't handle the regular can be upwards of $40 bucks a can.
 
2014-07-04 03:02:49 PM  
They cut heroin and coke with it, shelteredmitter
 
2014-07-04 03:03:48 PM  

grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.


There is a free alternative too
 
2014-07-04 03:05:06 PM  
OP seems to be the stupid one here, you know how absurdly overpriced baby formula is? It is worse then printer ink! And it ain't just Florida that is doin it.
 
2014-07-04 03:05:44 PM  
I thought the formula was egg + sperm = baby.
 
2014-07-04 03:08:54 PM  

JeffMD: OP seems to be the stupid one here, you know how absurdly overpriced baby formula is? It is worse then printer ink! And it ain't just Florida that is doin it.


I sometimes see it locked up, like cigarettes or cough medicine.
 
2014-07-04 03:09:59 PM  

basemetal: Babbys are big business.


Absolutely. I bought a door gate for my outside garage access door to keep my dogs from getting out when I had the garage open. It was a fancy one that had a foot pedal to open it.  I got it at petsmart for $40. The exact same gate, from the exact same company was at target. But instead of puppies,  it had a picture of a baby on the packaging and it was $79.

Put a picture of a baby on anything and is easily doubles if not quadruples what you can sell it for. Why is what is basically a folding table (changing table) cost $200?
Because people that have kids lose their minds and will pay anything.
 
2014-07-04 03:12:02 PM  

cretinbob: grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.

There is a free alternative too


Just try getting some without paying...that shiat aint free.
 
2014-07-04 03:13:14 PM  

grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.


WIC.
 
2014-07-04 03:16:16 PM  

grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.


BECAUSE REASONS.

/baby formula, razor blades, printer ink, Tide detergent, etc.
 
2014-07-04 03:18:40 PM  

CruJones: I don't think stealing from Walmart counts as a white collar crime.


It should count as a public service.
 
2014-07-04 03:24:01 PM  

FriarReb98: How much of the baby formula made it to babies, and how much made it to drug manufacturers who wanted to cut drugs with it?


I know you're only repeating what you've heard, but that is hands down the stupidest thing I've read all day.
First, most of the formula was LIQUID, so how you're cutting powdered drugs with it, I have no idea.

Second, if you have a few pounds of coke or heroin (at about $80,000 per pound) that you need to cut, you're not worried about saving $20, and are not going to involve yourself with petty thieves to do so.

Third, powdered formula wouldn't work as a cut because when you added water in order to shoot or freebase it, the dope would become milky, not clear as expected and the buyer would come after you for burning them.

Where did you learn about drugs? Old episodes of Dragnet?
 
2014-07-04 03:24:16 PM  

grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.


Because they can, and if they don't, the baby is going to starve unless the mother can produce enough milk to keep up with the baby wanting to eat 24/7. My son's mother can't keep up, so we had to start him on formula at about 2 1/2 months.
 
2014-07-04 03:25:04 PM  

cretinbob: They cut heroin and coke with it, shelteredmitter


Read my prior post oh learned one.
 
2014-07-04 03:25:18 PM  
FTFA: Carrying retail price tags ranging from $20 to $45
3,000 cans of formula worth about $200,000 were recovered


$200,000 / 3,000 = $66.67/can
Nice cop math there.  Apparently the thieves were getting 50% (or more) above retail.
 
2014-07-04 03:28:10 PM  

RoxtarRyan: Because they can, and if they don't,


By "they", I of course mean parents who don't buy it.
 
2014-07-04 03:29:18 PM  

grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.

"I would do anything -- anything -- for my baby."

This is almost always portrayed as a positive, but in reality it makes parents unethical, irrational, neurotic and incredibly dumb.  Why would anyone be shocked that companies would gouge them and organized crime would cater to them?  What, did anyone think that having kids suddenly turns bad people into good ones, especially in Florida?

I'm less scared of serial killers than parents using their kids to justify their actions.  The former are rare.  The latter is a significant percentage of the adult population.
 
2014-07-04 03:30:59 PM  
Here's a picture of the Baby Formula Ma Barker:
www.brevardsheriff.com

Looks like she's been living a hard 49.
 
2014-07-04 03:33:11 PM  

namegoeshere: I believe it. Some of the specialty stuff for babbies who can't handle the regular can be upwards of $40 bucks a can.


This. When my son was a babby he couldn't have breast milk because of a severe dairy allergy. The formula we had to buy was close to $40 for a regular sized can. I'm just glad he outgrew it fairly quickly, but it was an expensive year and a half
 
2014-07-04 03:45:19 PM  

muckin refarkable: The formula we had to buy was close to $40 for a regular sized can. I'm just glad he outgrew it fairly quickly, but it was an expensive year and a half

Not sure why but hydrolyzing proteins without making the stuff unpalatable seems to be a genuinely expensive process.  You still probably got gouged though.
 
2014-07-04 03:52:22 PM  
J-Rock approves.
 
2014-07-04 03:54:22 PM  

CruJones: JeffMD: OP seems to be the stupid one here, you know how absurdly overpriced baby formula is? It is worse then printer ink! And it ain't just Florida that is doin it.

I sometimes see it locked up, like cigarettes or cough medicine.


Yeah, it's something that's stolen at a ridiculous rate. So glad my wife was able to breast feed all our kids. Thus far my daughters have been lucky that way as well. Well, lucky is relative. Breast feeding is cheaper, but very time consuming.
 
2014-07-04 03:58:01 PM  

inglixthemad: CruJones: JeffMD: OP seems to be the stupid one here, you know how absurdly overpriced baby formula is? It is worse then printer ink! And it ain't just Florida that is doin it.

I sometimes see it locked up, like cigarettes or cough medicine.

Yeah, it's something that's stolen at a ridiculous rate. So glad my wife was able to breast feed all our kids. Thus far my daughters have been lucky that way as well. Well, lucky is relative. Breast feeding is cheaper, but very time consuming.


Well if you had let the kids have a turn at the breasts once in a while, maybe your wife could have finished up faster.  ;>p
 
2014-07-04 04:00:31 PM  
I'm currently breastfeeding right now, so I'm getting a kick......
 
2014-07-04 04:24:45 PM  
Formula is worse than bottled water.
 
2014-07-04 04:26:51 PM  
I was in a 24 hour grocery store once. Some guy was attempting to buy every can of formula on the shelf. The manager came over and said he couldn't allow it, but that he could buy half today and half tomorrow. The purchaser refused and stormed out. He and I left the parking lot at the same time. He drove right across the street into a convenience store parking lot. Guy was trying to corner the market on late night formula purchases. Kind of a scumbag move.
 
2014-07-04 04:34:03 PM  
Baby formula is such a racket and they know how captive the market is, my wife can't keep up with our two alone.  My youngest just tears through the stuff in huge quantities and asks for it by name.  At least he's potty trained like his sister so we don't have to deal with the mess the stuff makes in diapers.
 
2014-07-04 04:48:20 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Baby formula is such a racket and they know how captive the market is, my wife can't keep up with our two alone.  My youngest just tears through the stuff in huge quantities and asks for it by name.  At least he's potty trained like his sister so we don't have to deal with the mess the stuff makes in diapers.


t3.gstatic.com/hot
 
2014-07-04 04:56:44 PM  

cretinbob: They cut heroin and coke with it, shelteredmitter


It's stolen for resale to buy more drugs, not as an ingredient.   Why would somebody use expensive powdered baby formula when dirt cheap powdered milk would yield the same results?

Likely the rumor comes from the use of "baby laxative" (Mannitol) by bulk distributors; after watching too many '80s movies, people figure any white-ish powdery substance junkies steal must be useful for cutting drugs.
 
2014-07-04 05:05:34 PM  
Baby milk in short supply ever since....

img.fark.net
 
2014-07-04 05:26:07 PM  

grimlock1972: Never understood why Baby formula is so damn expensive.  seriously the manufacturing process is one that is used in a lot of similar products which are much cheaper, nothing in the ingredients seems to justify the high prices either.


My kids get Kirkland brand formula from Costco. Fraction of the price. Same ingredients.
 
2014-07-04 05:34:13 PM  

DubtodaIll: Formula is worse than bottled water.


You sound knowledgeable.  Tell us more.
 
2014-07-04 05:34:25 PM  

Bowen: I was in a 24 hour grocery store once. Some guy was attempting to buy every can of formula on the shelf. The manager came over and said he couldn't allow it, but that he could buy half today and half tomorrow. The purchaser refused and stormed out. He and I left the parking lot at the same time. He drove right across the street into a convenience store parking lot. Guy was trying to corner the market on late night formula purchases. Kind of a scumbag move.


He was likely buying it with food stamps to turn some cash.

It's stolen for resale to buy more drugs, not as an ingredient.

This.

  Why would somebody use expensive powdered baby formula when dirt cheap powdered milk would yield the same results?

The only one using formula or powdered milk as a cut, was that guy in your dorm that knew you would only snort it.
Out in the real world, you would get your ass kicked.

Likely the rumor comes from the use of "baby laxative" (Mannitol) by bulk distributors; after watching too many '80s movies, people figure any white-ish powdery substance junkies steal must be useful for cutting drugs.

Agreed. Mannitol was the most used cut for coke that was likely to be snorted.
If you're going to mainline anything with Mannitol in it however, you had better be sitting on a toilet when you do it.
 
2014-07-04 05:38:15 PM  

Bowen: I was in a 24 hour grocery store once. Some guy was attempting to buy every can of formula on the shelf. The manager came over and said he couldn't allow it, but that he could buy half today and half tomorrow. The purchaser refused and stormed out. He and I left the parking lot at the same time. He drove right across the street into a convenience store parking lot. Guy was trying to corner the market on late night formula purchases. Kind of a scumbag move.


Kind of a stupid move. Cleaning out the inventory of a typical retail store will just trigger an alert, and more will be put on the shelf with the next shipment. So you create a temporary shortage at best. And paying convenience store prices to do it.

Then again, if evil was bright...
 
2014-07-04 05:44:59 PM  

Babwa Wawa: DubtodaIll: Formula is worse than bottled water.

You sound knowledgeable.  Tell us more.


I'm speaking from a stupid thing to spend your money on standpoint. Bottled water costs more per unit than gasoline. Though you do actually have to go to a water source to get it for cheap. Mothers make milk for free.
 
2014-07-04 05:45:02 PM  
I suspect that the FDA is really picky about formula making, it is highly subject to recall, and the insurance on it if some babies get killed must be ridiculous.

We have a customer that makes it at work, and just to go in their offices I had to watch their safety video and take a safety test.  I didn't get anywhere near the manufacturing plant.
 
2014-07-04 06:17:10 PM  
its used for drugs but not like people think. It's not used to cut it. It's used to buy it.

Crackhead steals formula. He pays nothing for it. He takes it to bodega down the street. They give him $0.30 on the dollar for it. He now has 30% of the price of what he stole. They now have formula that costs significantly less to buy from authorized distributor. Crackhead takes money to buy more crack. Rinse and repeat.

/yes, I'm serious
 
2014-07-04 06:31:02 PM  

DubtodaIll: I'm speaking from a stupid thing to spend your money on standpoint. Bottled water costs more per unit than gasoline. Though you do actually have to go to a water source to get it for cheap. Mothers make milk for free.


Tell me more about how breastfeeding is always an option.
 
2014-07-04 06:38:28 PM  

DubtodaIll: Babwa Wawa: DubtodaIll: Formula is worse than bottled water.

You sound knowledgeable.  Tell us more.

I'm speaking from a stupid thing to spend your money on standpoint. Bottled water costs more per unit than gasoline. Though you do actually have to go to a water source to get it for cheap. Mothers make milk for free.


Um not all mothers produce enough milk for their babies and a wet nurse is more expensive than the can.
 
2014-07-04 06:43:07 PM  

DubtodaIll: I'm speaking from a stupid thing to spend your money on standpoint. Bottled water costs more per unit than gasoline. Though you do actually have to go to a water source to get it for cheap. Mothers make milk for free.


Like, tell me how all mothers make enough milk for their babies to thrive.  Tell me how all babies can tolerate their mothers' milk.    Most importantly, tell me how mothers never have to give up breastfeeding when they go back to work, because all workplaces give mothers the time and a place to pump.

The reality is that breastfeeding works really well for women who can take the first year or so off, or who have professional, family-friendly workplaces. Namely, it works well for mothers who can likely afford formula.  It doesn't work as well at all for working class mothers.  Why the holy hell do you think so many lower class people (in and out o the US) formula feed, for f*ck's sake?

Which makes the pricing model for formula all that much more abhorrent.   The poorer the area, the more expensive formula is, because it's well known that working mothers have no choice.  It's disgusting.
 
2014-07-04 06:44:38 PM  

jayphat: its used for drugs but not like people think. It's not used to cut it. It's used to buy it.

Crackhead steals formula. He pays nothing for it. He takes it to bodega down the street. They give him $0.30 on the dollar for it. He now has 30% of the price of what he stole. They now have formula that costs significantly less to buy from authorized distributor. Crackhead takes money to buy more crack. Rinse and repeat.

/yes, I'm serious


And you are also correct. I don't know what the preferred brand is now, but it used to be Enfamil yellow, and Enfamil blue, because that's what the WIC program accepts, and the bodega owner can charge the WIC program almost anything he feels like.

$0.30 on the dollar is very often more like $0.40 - $0.50, and the bodega owners often sweeten the deal with cigarettes, sandwiches, beer soda etc if you can supply them regularly.
 
2014-07-04 07:16:00 PM  

muckin refarkable: namegoeshere: I believe it. Some of the specialty stuff for babbies who can't handle the regular can be upwards of $40 bucks a can.

This. When my son was a babby he couldn't have breast milk because of a severe dairy allergy. The formula we had to buy was close to $40 for a regular sized can. I'm just glad he outgrew it fairly quickly, but it was an expensive year and a half


Dairy allergies don't mean a baby can't breastfeed, it means the mother has to stop having dairy. Why switch to expensive formula over that?
 
2014-07-04 08:11:24 PM  
One of my first jobs involved working security concerns for one of the biggest gas station chains in the US. When we suspected corruption at a franchisee's station we would set up hidden cameras the franchisee didn't know about. Since it was a business we could break in (locksmith and police notified) and set up our own independent cameras.

Almost every single week we caught people unloading baby formula in the back door, sometimes by the pallet. The crooked station owners would buy it from thieves and sell it to unsuspecting customers. Biggest we busted was a franchisee with about 65 stations all involved in fraud.

When we busted them we would send out a tanker and de-sign the station for breaking the franchise agreement rather than risk the negative publicity. Franchisee's didn't dare push the issue as they knew they had criminal charges available if they made a fuss. Sadly they had dedicated crews to do this we did it so often.

/crooked owners would skim the gas by an 1/8th of a gallon per fill
//never ever buy your gas from a de-signed gas station - there's a reason that former name brand is now missing.
 
2014-07-04 08:27:41 PM  

abhorrent1: basemetal: Babbys are big business.

Absolutely. I bought a door gate for my outside garage access door to keep my dogs from getting out when I had the garage open. It was a fancy one that had a foot pedal to open it.  I got it at petsmart for $40. The exact same gate, from the exact same company was at target. But instead of puppies,  it had a picture of a baby on the packaging and it was $79.

Put a picture of a baby on anything and is easily doubles if not quadruples what you can sell it for. Why is what is basically a folding table (changing table) cost $200?
Because people that have kids lose their minds and will pay anything.


Insurance

If it's marketed for babies, no matter what it is, formula or gates, the insurance carrying costs to the manufacturer are at a whole other level.
 
2014-07-04 08:29:31 PM  

onyxruby: One of my first jobs involved working security concerns for one of the biggest gas station chains in the US. When we suspected corruption at a franchisee's station we would set up hidden cameras the franchisee didn't know about. Since it was a business we could break in (locksmith and police notified) and set up our own independent cameras.

Almost every single week we caught people unloading baby formula in the back door, sometimes by the pallet. The crooked station owners would buy it from thieves and sell it to unsuspecting customers. Biggest we busted was a franchisee with about 65 stations all involved in fraud.

When we busted them we would send out a tanker and de-sign the station for breaking the franchise agreement rather than risk the negative publicity. Franchisee's didn't dare push the issue as they knew they had criminal charges available if they made a fuss. Sadly they had dedicated crews to do this we did it so often.

/crooked owners would skim the gas by an 1/8th of a gallon per fill
//never ever buy your gas from a de-signed gas station - there's a reason that former name brand is now missing.


Seriously, you should do an AMA. I would love to hear these stories, much like my various retail pharmacy stories.
 
2014-07-04 08:32:46 PM  

dBoone: abhorrent1: basemetal: Babbys are big business.

Absolutely. I bought a door gate for my outside garage access door to keep my dogs from getting out when I had the garage open. It was a fancy one that had a foot pedal to open it.  I got it at petsmart for $40. The exact same gate, from the exact same company was at target. But instead of puppies,  it had a picture of a baby on the packaging and it was $79.

Put a picture of a baby on anything and is easily doubles if not quadruples what you can sell it for. Why is what is basically a folding table (changing table) cost $200?
Because people that have kids lose their minds and will pay anything.

Insurance

If it's marketed for babies, no matter what it is, formula or gates, the insurance carrying costs to the manufacturer are at a whole other level.


There's also a regulatory aspect as well. Infant food/medicine & dairy products are the only 2 items sold in the United States that are universally illegal to sell expired. On top of that, there is a ton of inspection mandates that have to be followed.
 
2014-07-04 10:52:37 PM  

DubtodaIll: Babwa Wawa: DubtodaIll: Formula is worse than bottled water.

You sound knowledgeable.  Tell us more.

I'm speaking from a stupid thing to spend your money on standpoint. Bottled water costs more per unit than gasoline. Though you do actually have to go to a water source to get it for cheap. Mothers make milk for free.


I don't know where you buy your water from, but around here you can get it for a dollar a gallon or if you bring your own jugs to those machines it's only 25 cents per gal. I'm sure if you added up the cost when buying the single serve bottles it would be more than gas, but if you drink a lot of bottled water and buy it in the single serve then you deserve to overpay.
 
2014-07-04 11:06:38 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: I suspect that the FDA is really picky about formula making, it is highly subject to recall, and the insurance on it if some babies get killed must be ridiculous.

We have a customer that makes it at work, and just to go in their offices I had to watch their safety video and take a safety test.  I didn't get anywhere near the manufacturing plant.


That makes sense. Can you imagine the fallout and lawsuits if baby formula made here killed babies like the stuff in china did over there.
 
2014-07-04 11:52:11 PM  
i stole that once, as a cokehead

lifted it over my head at the security bars
and no beep occurred.


success!

/didn't do it again
//just lotsa other shiat
 
2014-07-05 12:17:22 AM  

Babwa Wawa: DubtodaIll: I'm speaking from a stupid thing to spend your money on standpoint. Bottled water costs more per unit than gasoline. Though you do actually have to go to a water source to get it for cheap. Mothers make milk for free.

Like, tell me how all mothers make enough milk for their babies to thrive.  Tell me how all babies can tolerate their mothers' milk.    Most importantly, tell me how mothers never have to give up breastfeeding when they go back to work, because all workplaces give mothers the time and a place to pump.

The reality is that breastfeeding works really well for women who can take the first year or so off, or who have professional, family-friendly workplaces. Namely, it works well for mothers who can likely afford formula.  It doesn't work as well at all for working class mothers.  Why the holy hell do you think so many lower class people (in and out o the US) formula feed, for f*ck's sake?

Which makes the pricing model for formula all that much more abhorrent.   The poorer the area, the more expensive formula is, because it's well known that working mothers have no choice.  It's disgusting.


And while you're at it, let's talk about adoption.  Your body hasn't had the normal 9 or so months to prepare, so formula is pretty much the only choice.  And this is after your budget is already blown from all the price-gouging that goes on in the adoption "industry".

\ I swear, if those people actually cared about the kids, they wouldn't ask you to empty your bank account right when you're taking on a dependent...
 
2014-07-05 12:35:19 AM  

davynelson: i stole that once, as a cokehead

lifted it over my head at the security bars
and no beep occurred.


success!

/didn't do it again
//just lotsa other shiat


I've been clean for 14 years but we were organised with lookouts, hand signals, driver and van started and ready to go.


We had a big list of all the doable places within 75 miles and used to walk out with entire shopping carts full clearing 8 - 12 cases easy, and often times twice a day.

Two people would just pick up the cart and dump it in the van which was already in gear.
The people working the store were always well dressed right down to jacket and tie, so walking past the courtesy desk with a full cart and a clip board became a regular thing.
Just act like you're supposed to be doing it, and nobody bats an eyelash.

Meanwhile the schmuck two aisles over trying to shove a beer down his pants is being swarmed by store security.

Each run used to net us $300 - $600, but security was different back then and the most important signal was 'abort' because being you're not concealing anything they can't do anything if you leave empty handed.
 
2014-07-05 12:55:33 AM  

Danger Avoid Death: inglixthemad: CruJones: JeffMD: OP seems to be the stupid one here, you know how absurdly overpriced baby formula is? It is worse then printer ink! And it ain't just Florida that is doin it.

I sometimes see it locked up, like cigarettes or cough medicine.

Yeah, it's something that's stolen at a ridiculous rate. So glad my wife was able to breast feed all our kids. Thus far my daughters have been lucky that way as well. Well, lucky is relative. Breast feeding is cheaper, but very time consuming.

Well if you had let the kids have a turn at the breasts once in a while, maybe your wife could have finished up faster.  ;>p


'Doctor, Mrs. Robinson just called and said the baby seems to be preferring the left breast.'

'So, what's the problem nurse? Just tell her it isn't a big deal as long as the baby is eating.'

'Well, so does Mr. Robinson.'

'Tell Mrs. Robinson and her husband that baby has first dibs.'
 
2014-07-05 12:38:39 PM  
I remember a few years ago I kept hearing stories about people getting busted for stealing large amounts of laundry detergent. One guy they busted had a garage full of it and $80k in cash.
 
2014-07-05 04:56:35 PM  

jayphat: Seriously, you should do an AMA. I would love to hear these stories, much like my various retail pharmacy stories.


I don't know if I have enough for that alone, but I've got some interesting ones. Thanks
 
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