Gypsies say debt drove them to shoplifting

March 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

TORRANCE, Calif., March 20 (UPI) -- The reputed members of a gypsy shoplifting ring told investigators they stole to pay off a massive debt owed by their family, police in Southern California said.

Torrance police arrested the four members of the reputed Chicago-based ring after they allegedly stole from multiple Apple stores in the Los Angeles area.

Police said in a written statement they turned to lives of crime to settle a $2 million debt incurred by their family several years ago.

The alleged crew identified themselves as "Polish gypsy family," police said. Investigators said they believed they swiped as much as $3 million in the past three years from electronics stores.

The Los Angeles Times said Wednesday the suspects had been under surveillance since they allegedly hit a store in Torrance and were picked up when the returned to Los Angeles for a court appearance on another theft charge.

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