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Consumer Reports

Rent a Burglar | (UPI) -- The New York Post calls it "Rent a Burglar." Indictments have been issued against 16 participants in an alleged Manhattan, N.Y., burglary ring accused of sending robbers into stores to steal clothes, carpets, electronics, even cheap knickknacks, all to fill customer orders.

The Post says police allege orders were placed at beauty salons and variety stores and picked up later. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said some $2.5 million in merchandise was taken.

Police allege store owners would place orders and negotiate prices with the ringleaders, who assigned a team of burglars to go fill them.

Seventeen stores were hit a total of 23 times, the Post says, and the indictment noted worst off was Iran Carpets, which declared bankruptcy when more than 100 uninsured Persian carpets retailing at more than $1 million were stolen in June 2001.

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