Thieves targeting baby formula in Madison County - KMOV.com

Thieves targeting baby formula in Madison County

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Woman suspected of stealing baby formula (Credit: Madison County Sheriff's Department) Woman suspected of stealing baby formula (Credit: Madison County Sheriff's Department)
Person suspected of stealing baby formula (Credit: Madison County Sheriff's Department) Person suspected of stealing baby formula (Credit: Madison County Sheriff's Department)
Duo suspected of stealing baby formula (Credit: Madison County Sheriff's Department) Duo suspected of stealing baby formula (Credit: Madison County Sheriff's Department)

GODFREY, Ill. (KMOV.com) – It’s a disturbing trend across the nation. Thieves are targeting stores that sell baby formula as a means to get drugs, according to police.

Locally, three suspects were charged with felony retail theft after stealing baby formula from a Walmart in Godfrey, Illinois on Nov. 29.

According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, Darnell Gregory, 37, Lawanda C. Hamilton, 33, and Terry L. Little, 34, were charged in the robbery for their alleged involvement. There was also a fourth suspect, but that suspect’s name has not been released.

The charges were issued on Dec. 8, but police are still looking for the alleged thieves. 

"So these individuals take this item knowing that it's a must have in any community, but primarily in the inner cities in the impoverished areas they'll take to this to corner stores and stuff and sale it to them because they also know it's accepted by WIC here in Illinois and food stamps in other states in other regions," said Captain Mike Dixon with Madison County Sheriff's.

Police said this is a growing trend across the nation. Drug organizations are selling baby formula as a means to make illegal substances, often using the formula as a mixer.

"They could use just about anything," said Dixon.  "A narcotics dealer can use just about any kind of powder to increase the amount of profitability in their narcotic – cut the product – reducing the purity of the substance and increase the amount of percentage or profit. So they could use this along with dozens of other things."

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