Police then executed a search warrant at a home in Greystanes where officers allegedly seized 350 tins of baby formula, 42 bottles of vitamins and 47 tubs of menthol rub.
About 2pm, a second search warrant was executed at Kennards Self Storage at Homebush, where detectives arrested a 40-year-old man and allegedly seized a further 1000 tins of baby formula, 1000 bottles of vitamins, 300 tubs of pawpaw cream and 100 electric toothbrushes.
A third search warrant was executed at an apartment in Auburn about 5pm where police seized clothing.
Both men were taken to Auburn police station. The 53-year-old man was charged with shoplifting. The other man was charged with dealing with the property proceeds of crime, and receiving stolen property as a serious indictable offence.
Police will allege the older man facilitated the theft of the baby formula and pharmaceutical items from retail stores while the other man received the stolen goods and exported them overseas.
Detective Inspector Andrew Evans told Ben Fordham on 2GB police would allege the operation was well organised.
“There was a syndicate of people attending retailers. They were going to the shelves where these products were, and it was like a pack of locusts,” he alleged.
Mr Evans said CCTV footage showed the supermarkets targeted were being left “without one tin of baby formula left”.
Both men were granted conditional bail and are due to appear in Burwood Local Court on November 12.