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Baby Formula Shoplifters Lead Danville-San Ramon/Lamorinda PDs On 100mph Chase On Highway 24 Friday

Photo: Office of the Sheriff

A crew of suspected shoplifters grabbed a large quantity of baby formula from a San Ramon Safeway store and fled westbound on Highway 24 Friday, a trail of law enforcement agencies in pursuit.

Police were looking for three people who targeted the store and fled westbound onto Highway 24 at speeds in excess of 100 mph around 8 p.m. Friday – a Sheriff’s helicopter monitoring the procession until the suspect car stopped in the 900 block of 37th Street in Oakland.

Three people were believed to have been taken into custody at a residence in that block at around 8:16 p.m.

Baby formula and other seemingly innocent household products are highly prized by Bay Area drug and shoplifting gangs, and represent a currency of sorts. Thefts of certain products favored by shoplifters have led to similar chases on several prior occasions.

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  1. baby formula not “baby formulae”. Thaaaat’s something different. Formulae, or recipes, for babies are still controversial at this time.

  2. Was able to explain the four cop cars racing past us on Hwy 24 to the kids in our car. Not sure how to explain the baby formula stuff. Fortunately, this time the idiots were going one way and we are headed home in the opposite direction so only had to worry about the occasional Hwy 24 weaver going 85-95 using right lanes us passing lanes.

  3. Perplexed by the baby formula part of this, I did a google search about it. Apparently, it’s amongst the top product stolen in the country, and has been for quite some time now (articles date back to 2010). It’s expensive, thus stolen, and sold on the black market, often overseas. It’s also popular as a “mixer” for drugs such as cocaine.

    Who’d have thunk. Find the stolen formula, and possibly a drug ring.

    • ‘Xactly right, G.F… and don’t forget Tide laundry detergent, they love Tide! We’ve done stories on this after folks questioned police pursuits of folks with armloads of baby formula – presumably for their babies. Not so, as you found! Thanks for writing!

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