WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Metropolitan police have arrested about two dozen people at 12 businesses that were selling stolen electronic devices.

Mayor Vincent Gray said at a news conference Monday night that in response to increasing numbers of robberies and thefts in which electronic devices were stolen, officers redirected forces to neighborhoods where the crimes were occurring.

Gray said business owners were encouraging residents to steal electronics and sell them to the stores, which in turn sold them to consumers.

Gray says the sting operation shows that those selling stolen devices will be apprehended.

The District has been battling a rash of thefts involving smart phones this year. Police Chief Cathy Lanier recently stated the department made curbing the uptick in thefts a priority.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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