The owner of a Leominster video shop is facing a raft of criminal charges after police say he hired dozens of known drug addicts and “prolific shoplifters” to steal items from area businesses so that he could sell them on his private amazon and Ebay accounts.

After a yearlong investigation into organized retail crime, John Duplease, the owner and proprietor of Adopt A Video in Leominster, was arrested Saturday on charges including aggravated organized retail crime over $10,000, being the leader of an organized retail crime, and receiving stolen property valued above $1,200, according to the Lancaster Police Department.

The investigation also led to the identification of 26 “boosters” who were supporting the criminal enterprise who “regularly shoplifted at numerous locations, such as Home Depot, Target, Lowe’s, Walmart, CVS, Stop & Shop, and Hannaford’s, causing millions of dollars in lost revenue and millions of dollars in lost tax sales,” according to police.

After executing search warrants at Adopt A Video in Leominster and Duplease’s home on Spec Pond Avenue in Lancaster, police recovered more than 5,000 items estimated to be worth more than $500,000.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

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