(KMOV) -- Kirkwood police arrested a man who allegedly hired drug addicts to steal from businesses as far away as Columbia, Missouri.
After a several month long investigation into a fencing operation, police recovered stolen merchandise worth several thousand dollars from a business in Valley Park and a home in Eureka.
Police arrested a man in his 50's who reportedly hired heroin addicts to steal from various retailers, most of which were big box stores. The thieves targeted TJ Maxx, Shop-N-Save, Target and Walmart stores on an "almost daily basis."
One thief posed as an employee in uniform to gain access to a store's rear stock rooms, according to police.
The stolen property included four handguns, eighteen shotguns and rifles, two replica machine guns, electronics, and bottled liquor.
Officers arrested the man for receiving and possessing stolen property, but are withholding his name pending formal charges.