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So. Cal. Plastics recycling stolen products

So. Cal. Plastics’ home page at its website (www.socal-plastics.com) says the recycling company is “continually searching for new ways to clean our planet and become more green and eco friendly.” It seems that part of the business model for the plastics recycling company, located on Knollwood Circle in Anaheim, CA, is stealing “trademark plastic products” from various other businesses to regrind and sell.

Clare Goldsberry

July 9, 2012

3 Min Read
So. Cal. Plastics recycling stolen products

On Saturday morning, June 30, Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept. deputies served a search warrant at the So. Cal Plastics facility, and found approximately $450,000 in stolen plastic products, some already in a ground-up state, according to information provided by the LASD in a release. “Four male Hispanic suspects were arrested in connection with the felony theft and possession of the stolen products,” said the release. “At this time, the investigation is ongoing since other possible suspects involved remain at large.”
So. Cal’s web site lists Hector Palacios as “operations” but no other names are noted.  An attempt to reach So. Cal. Plastics for comment was unsuccessful as the number had been disconnected.
“Plastic trademark products are often stolen from the loading docks behind businesses through Los Angeles County and the entire region,” said Sergeant Nabeel Mitry, City of Industry Sheriff’s Station Industrial Plastics Theft Task Force. “Additionally, either employees steal the plastics themselves, or leave them in a place outside the business so their crime partners can pick them up.”
Most of the stolen/recovered plastics were pallets, baker/bread trays, shelves, baskets and totes (collapsible crates) from grocery stores, pizzerias, commercial bakeries, restaurants, beverage companies and shipping and receiving companies. One estimation put the value of a one-ton bag of plastics regrind at anywhere from $600 to $2000, depending on the type and quality of the material.
According to Captain Mike Claus at the LASD Industry Sheriff’s Station, more than $5 million in stolen trademark plastic has been recovered in the past year along by the Industrial Plastic Theft Task Force.  “The victims of these thefts are hard-working business people contributing products and services to their customers as well as jobs to the economy,” he stated in the release. “The enormous cost to businesses as a result of these thefts is ultimately paid by consumers through increase in prices for goods and services.”
Captain Claus noted that the losses associated with the theft of industrial plastics could “easily exceed” $10 million a year. “I have been contacted by Los Angeles County and even worldwide global businesses that have made it clear that this is an epidemic that had never been addressed. These business people are grateful the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has taken a leadership role in addressing this issue and educating the public about it.”

Late last year, the Task Force recovered $500,000 in stolen plastics at a grinding operation in Compton, and another $2 million in stolen plastic, along with $120,000 in marijuana, was recovered by the LASD Industrial Plastics Theft Task Force. In December of 2011, the Task Force recovered $250,000 in stolen plastic trademark products. In March, an investigation by the Task Force in the City of Bell Gardens led to the discovery of two grinding operations and $74,000 worth of plastic products, and the confiscation of $67,000 worth of equipment.
“We will continue to find these stolen products and return them to their rightful owners, and the people responsible will be arrested and addressed by the criminal justice system,” said Captain Claus.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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