The following information was provided by the .
On Thursday, after a several month's long investigation into a fencing operation, Kirkwood police recovered stolen merchandise worth several thousand dollars from a business in Valley Park and a residence in Eureka.
One person has been arrested to date. The arrested person, an adult male in his 50s, reportedly hired drug addicts dependent on heroin to steal merchandise from area businesses.
Various retailers, most of which were big box stores, to include Target, TJ Maxx, Shop 'n Save, and Wal-Mart, were targeted by the thieves on an almost daily basis.
The thieves reportedly traveled as far as Columbia to steal merchandise. One reportedly posed as a store employee in uniform to gain access to the rear stock rooms of one of the businesses to commit the thefts.
The stolen property included four handguns, 18 long guns consisting of shotguns and rifles, two replica machine guns, electronics and bottled liquor.
Officers arrested the man for receiving and possessing the stolen property. His name is being withheld pending formal charges. The investigation is still ongoing and thus no further information will be released at this time.