Bacteria, Animal Waste Discovered in Counterfeit Cosmetics Bust

Los Angeles Police are warning consumers about the dangers of using counterfeit cosmetics and urged the public to use common sense when purchasing items on the street after a recent raid on stores in downtown L.A. found shops selling lipstick, eye-shadow and mascara that had been tainted with bacteria and animal feces. 

During a press conference Monday, authorities showed what looked like high-end make-up that had been seized during a raid on 21 locations in the downtown's Fashion District. The $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics reportedly contained bacteria and feces in products similar to those sold by Urban Decay, NARS, MAC, Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and others. 

"The dangers of counterfoil goods goes well beyond mere financial harm and theft. Many of those goods are not properly screened, tested or regulated, which in turn can jeopardize the safety of our citizens," said LAPD Capt. Marc Reina. "The content of those cosmetics is not what people think it is. When it's tested, they find high levels of bacteria, lead and in some cases animal feces," Reina added.

The products sold on the street looked almost identical to its high-quality counterparts. The LAPD was tipped off about the counterfeit cosmetics after a series of complaints from people who say they were duped into purchasing the fake make up. 

Of the 21 businesses raided and cited, six owners were arrested for selling the makeup, while the rest received cease-and-desist orders. 

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