Baby formula theft ring hits Metro area

Baby formula. Credit: KMOV

News 4 is learning some police are seeing people steal baby formula.

You could say what's old is new again. It was a big problem about seven years ago and if you buy stolen formula, it can endanger your baby.

"If you need it bad enough, get the help. But it is likely someone who doesn't need formula, likely someone scamming it and they are not even from Arnold," says resident Justin Price.

Arnold police say that is what's going on in this latest baby formula theft ring. They're looking for two women who are at the center of it. On June 5, police say the women stole 10 cans of baby formula worth $179 from the Schnucks on Vogel Road.

The next day, they came back, taking 23 cans with a price tag of $413. Then on June 12, police say they took $440 worth of formula.

"Formula is expensive. People stealing it and jacking up the price for everyone else that is really frustrating," says Price.

There's a big market for formula, News 4 found apps and groups on Facebook that sell it. But the big question you have to ask is are you buying it from a reputable source? If not, you risk it being tampered with. Police believe this case is stealing for profit, but there are also cases of stealing for need.

"Families that live in extreme poverty, they can't pay their utility bills, they are worried about being evicted because they can't pay rent so sometimes feeding their babies becomes a real hardship," says Diane Mueller, CEO at Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.

There is help for parents at Crisis Nursery. They can give mothers diapers, formula and any other basic needs.

For more information, click here.

Arnold police say they're also looking for a third suspect in this ring. It is not clear right now if this theft ring has hit other stores in the Metro area.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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