Man sent to prison for running shoplifting operation

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for running a large-scale fencing operation.

Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Matthew Harwood, of Stratford, will report to prison March 19 after being sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison.

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Hardwood pleaded guilty in 2016 to interstate transport of stolen property and conspiracy to commit the interstate transport of stolen property.

Prosecutors say Harwood ran a ring of shoplifters who stole from Petco, Staples, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Harwood and another man, Andrew Sacco, then sold the stolen items on eBay, Amazon and other online sites.

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Prosecutors estimate the scheme cost retailers nearly $4 million.

Sacco pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to 48 months in prison last month.