Several Columbus businesses were the target of undercover operations as state agents busted owners buying stolen property.
The Ohio Investigative Unit granted 10TV's Ashleigh Barry exclusive access to the undercover stings.
10TV is not identifying the agents because of their covert operations, nor the carry-out employees because of the ongoing investigations.
This is a problem, they say, has plagued the streets of Columbus and honest business owners.
The first stop was at a carry out on the west side. A confidential informant, who admitted to selling stolen property to the business owner numerous times, is now working with state liquor control agents.
He had armed backup and entered the business. "I had to run out of there, you should have seen me carrying this big bag running out of Wal-Mart, stole it," he told the owner.
The owner didn't want that particular brand of cigarettes and asked him to come back later with the full flavor ones. With no deal, operatives moved to the next business on the east side where an undercover agent walked in with a stash of cigarettes.
She struck a deal and the owner was busted. He admittedly paid cash for five cartons of Newport’s for half the retail price. The agent in charge slapped his business with violation notices against his liquor permit.
The next stop was a place agents say is notorious for buying stolen property and reselling it. Agents confiscated a more than 100 counterfeit DVD's, 6 cans of Similac baby formula and open packs of cigarettes they were selling for 25 cents per cigarette.
Agents say they will continue to go after business owners who participate in this illegal activity.