POLK COUNTY, Fla. (970 WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said detectives arrested 37 suspects for various retail theft charges after conducting surveillance at various retail stores during “Operation Sticky Hands” on Wednesday and Thursday.

PCSO said detectives worked closely with multiple loss prevention staff at the following retailers in PolkCounty during the two day operation:  Marshalls & T.J.Maxx, Target, Bealls & Bealls Outlets, Walmart, Publix, Home Depot, Belk, and Walgreens.  PCSO said four others were arrested on other (non-theft) charges. 

“Retail theft is a persistent problem for our retailers—shoplifting drives up the cost of goods we all buy.  We don’t put up with it in PolkCounty.  If we catch you stealing from a local store, we are going to arrest you and do everything we can to let people know you are a thief.   Remember:  We give free rides (in the back of a patrol car) if you get caught shoplifting in Polk County.”  Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release.

Of those arrested, deputies said 18 are receiving some form of government/public assistance, and 32 of the suspects have criminal histories.

Photo Credit Polk County Sheriff's Office