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BG theft related to drug use

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BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Over the past few months, there have been 17 different reports of people stealing from the Bowling Green Walmart.

Police say what the thieves are doing with the stolen items is shedding light on a bigger problem. They say drug dealers are requesting people steal hundreds of dollars in big-ticket items, and exchanging them for drugs – specifically heroin.

"In some cases, they were exchanging the items they would shoplift for either cash or cash cards, or those types of things, and then exchanging those gift cards for drugs," explained Lt. Brad Biller of the Bowling Green Police.

Some shoplifters are bypassing security cameras and leaving out of side entrances with the merchandise.

Police say the shoplifting has gotten so bad they've started charging repeat offenders with burglary – a felony – instead of petty theft.

As of right now, they don't know how many of those shoplifters are using the items to get drugs.

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