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2 charged in theft of nearly 100 cans of baby formula

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Rochester police say they found 94 cans of baby formula on two people suspected of stealing it from two Target stores, KAAL-TV reports.

The man and woman, both of Rochester, were arrested Monday, KAAL reports.

Stealing formula for resale on a baby-food black market is a deeply troubling trend, crime experts say.

Formula is always in demand and it's expensive – cans typically range from roughly $14 to $34 – making it a longtime "staple" for theft rings, USA Today reported.

Formula is such a hot commodity among sophisticated theft organizations that it's been called "liquid gold," ABC News reported. Trafficking formula has become an interstate problem, drawn the attention of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and spurred stores to invest in high-tech anti-theft devices, ABC News reported.

The FBI earlier this year announced the breakup of a crime ring with ties to the Middle East that relied in part on the theft, repackaging and reselling of baby formula.

Professional thieves even target entire loading skids of baby formula, Dennis D. Dansak, senior corporate manager of organized retail crime at Kroger, told the Dayton Daily News last month.

One couple in Florida made a living selling stolen formula full-time, the Sun Sentinel reported earlier this year.

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