Police: Store owners hired shoplifter to steal

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Two owners of a corner grocery store in York have been arrested on allegations they hired a man to steal merchandise from other retailers, according to police.

West York police said they charged 61-year-old Li Jang Wang and 57-year-old Yu Ping Xu, owners of Yong's Store at 255 S. Penn Street, on counts of organized retail theft, retail theft, solicitation of retail theft, and receiving stolen property.

Police said the charges followed Thursday's arrest of a suspected shoplifter who was caught leaving the Giant food store, at 1200 W. Market Street in the borough, without paying for $180 worth of cold medications.

The suspected shoplifter told officers he stole the items for the shopkeepers at Yong's, that he had been performing the thefts for the last two years, and that he had dealt with both owners in previous thefts, police said.

He told investigators that he typically was paid $2-3 for each bottle of cough medicine, and that he also stole baby formula, pain medications, batteries and other items that “sell quick,” police said.

Police said they obtained a search warrant for Yongs, marked the stolen items, and allowed the suspected shoplifter to deliver the shoplifted merchandise.

When officers executed the search warrant, they said they seized the marked and stolen items, as well as several hundred pounds of powdered baby formula, hundreds of batteries and medications, all with markings from other retailers.

Police said they also recovered numerous items of drug paraphernalia, including glass marijuana and crack pipes.

Wang and Xu, who live above the corner grocery, were also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

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