Police have arrested 97 people who allegedly shoplifted nearly $10,000 worth of stolen goods in just four days in Sydney's CBD and Eastern Suburbs.
Known as Operation Lightfingers, police targeted retail outlets across the Sydney CBD, Surry Hills, Glebe, Ultimo and Bondi areas where they charged people with 114 offences between Tuesday and Friday.
Of those arrested, 32 people were charged, 29 were issued Court Attendance Notices (CAN), 41 were issued Criminal Infringement Notices (CIN), 12 were issued warnings and 12 young people were issued youth caution.
Over the course of the operation, police recovered stolen goods worth a total of $9,860.
About midday on Thursday, a 47-year-old man was arrested outside a store on Market and George Streets, in the Sydney CBD after he allegedly stole five items of children's clothing worth nearly $350.
The Eastwood man was issued with a Court Attendance Notice for shoplifting to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on February 10.
Three hours later at almost the same location, a 31-year-old woman, who had a child with her, was charged for stealing $235 worth of goods. She will appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on January 20.
At 5pm on Friday a 25-year-old man was also arrested outside a store on George Streetin possession of $630 worth of stolen property and a magnetic security tag remover. He will appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on February 17.
Redfern Region Enforcement Squad Commander, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell, said the festive season generally sees an increase in customers and can therefore create opportunities for shoplifters.
"Christmas shopping means more customers in stores so more work for staff members, and a general influx of foot traffic through major shopping precincts," Det Ch Insp Bell said.
"During this operation a number of stores across Sydney were targeted and items that people attempted to steal included electronic goods, clothing, perfume, bags, and groceries with a combined value of nearly $10,000.
"We know this has been a challenging year for the community of NSW, but it has also been a difficult year for retailers and their employees.
"With less than one week to go until Christmas, please do the right thing and if you see any suspicious behaviour in and around supermarkets and retail stores, please report it.
"Retail theft continues to cost the industry billions of dollars each year, which is why we remain committed to cracking down on those who attempt to take goods without paying for them," he said.
Originally published as Xmas shoplifting blitz sees 97 arrested in four days