CHERRY HILL — A two-day sting operation at retail stores in this Philadelphia suburb led to dozens of arrests.

With the help of surveillance tools and undercover officers, cops busted 38 suspects and recovered tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise, which police said left business owners “ecstatic.”

Officials credited the Cherry Hill Retail Theft Initiative, a partnership of police and merchants that began in November.

Chief Robert Kempf noted that retail theft is not just a problem in Cherry Hill, home of the 160-store Cherry Hill Mall.

Elsewhere in the state in recent weeks, thieves ran off with $100,000 in luxury goods from a Balenciaga store at American Dream mall in East Rutherford; a gang robbed a Chanel store at the Mall at Short Hills, attacking a security guard with a fire extinguisher; and burglars broke into a designer handbag store in Roxbury.

Press release from Cherry Hill Police Department on Facebook
Press release from Cherry Hill Police Department on Facebook

“Instead of the police and the retailers pointing the finger at one another we met, talked things out and developed a plan to work together to be proactive in dealing with the issue," Kempf said in a written statement.

Mayor David Fleisher promised to support the police department's efforts to combat retail theft.

Police ask the public to report thefts in progress to 856-665-1200. Residents can also report anonymous tips via

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Gallery Credit: Rick Rickman

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