“Operation Gucci” busts dozens of thieves

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A massive sting authorities call "Operation Gucci" is coming to an end. Law enforcement officers in Berks County arrested nearly 40 people involved in a number of crimes, including theft and fraud.

A collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies in Berks County put a dent in a crime that caused financial harm to well over 50 victims.

District Attorney, John Adams, says, "They were all over the books, from credit cards to robberies."

Adams says the crime ring began as early as 2013.

Adams says the crimes include, "check fraud, credit card fraud, robbery, also a number of them in the 6th ward have engaged in violent behavior."

Adams says the suspects committed crime in a spider web effect, striking victims in the 6th Ward and moving their operations throughout the entire county.

Adams says, "I have a loosely knit group of individuals who spent a lot of time committing crimes."

West Reading Police Chief, Stephen Powell explains how three ring leaders led the ring. Powell says, "The investigators are comfortable labeling these 3 as individuals that exerted influence, informal leadership."

A Grand Jury charged 38 suspects in total. 11 were in jail already on other violations.

The DA says the criminals did not reach anyone in Central Pennsylvania. Authorities say they're pleased they put a stop to the ring before it got worse.