Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
Dallas County authorities say they have shut down a sophisticated shoplifting ring that targeted popular discount stores.
Investigators with the Dallas County District Attorney's office joined up with the parent company of TJ Maxx to break up a major shoplifting ring.
Fourteen people have been indicted in the case, accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the TJX Companies which owns TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods.
Investigators said the suspects stole $450,000 worth of goods in the past 14 months.
The group would then return the stolen merchandise for gift cards, which they would sell on websites like eBay, Craigslist and even Facebook, investigators said.
"We all know we're in a down economy, and we know people aren't spending as much as they used to as consumers," chief investigator Tony Robinson said. "For a major retail corporation to take this kind of loss -- we're talking in excess of $400,000 that we know of -- it's a major impact on a corporation's bottom line."
The arrests came after a yearlong investigation between the DA's office and the company.
Robinson described the group as highly organized and said it may soon have expanded operations to other parts of the state or country.
The DA's office said it expects to arrest three more people in the case.
NBC 5's Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.