Grand theft toothbrush?

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Police say they've broken a ring of three professional crooks who stole millions of dollars worth of toothbrushes and other dental hygiene products.

Citi Pawn at 909 N. Dixie Highway in Boca Raton was allegedly ground zero of the operation, where, police say, the manager sold the items on Internet auction sites, like eBay. "If it's free for them to steal, it's easy money," said Palm Beach County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Keith Conley.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies say Brian Hegmann, 26, and Lauren Ann Healy, 23, hit stores like CVS, Publix and Walgreens all over South Florida.

Their targets? High-end toothbrushes and whitening strips.

"They're considered professionals," said Conley. "They do a large quantity on a daily basis. They work from morning until night."

Police say the pair dropped the stuff off at Citi Pawn for small kickbacks from pawn shop employee Igor Roytikh.

He allegedly sold enough on online auction sites to pocket more than $2.5 million. The total value of the merchandise is estimated at $3.2 million.

Even though toothbrushes don't seem like the kind of item typically fenced, online shoppers say there's a market for everything.

"Everybody is always looking for deals," said West Boca resident Stella Quintero. "There are so many things you can find online that you would never find those prices when you were going to the store."

For now the pawn shop will remain open. Because they're regulated by the state, the Department of Agriculture will have to do its own investigation.

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