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ORC 4-26-13



South Carolina looks to toughen ORC shoplifting penalties  Legislators are now responding to an increase in professional shoplifting rings by carving out more comprehensive theft laws and penalties. Part of the problem is South Carolina has some of the most lenient felony theft thresholds in the southeast. Under a proposed Senate bill, prosecutors would be able to charge multiple shoplifting acts in different counties into one count, raising the possible prison sentence to a maximum of 10 years. It's a step towards dismantling shoplifting rings that are drawn into South Carolina because of our lenient theft penalties. The Walgreens representative for four counties in Upstate said her chain loses up to $30,000 a month to organized retail crime. And it's similar with big box stores," said Retailers Association representative Jack West. A companion bill passed the State House last week with no opposition. (Source

Southern Nevada retailers and Las Vegas Police team up on Organized Retail Crime.  Loss Prevention and Las Vegas Police are teaming up to focus on ORC crimes which are believed to be a million dollar crime in the area. Three suspects recently arrested had nearly $40,000 worth of stolen inventory, everything from sunglasses to baby formula. Increasing string operations to focus on the fencing operators is seen as one way to take the profit out of shoplifting. (Source

Chandler, AZ., ORC gang of three busted hitting Wal-Mart stores for more than $230,000 in electronics  Three people are in custody and three others are wanted in connection with the thefts of more than $230,000 in electronics from Valley-wide Walmart stores, police said. The thefts began last year in mid-July and continued until mid-April. Investigators are still seeking a fourth male suspect, Jorge Luis Sotelo, Jr., 19. He is described as Hispanic. He is 6' tall and weighs around 235 pounds. Police suspect that the suspects broke into display cases, put items in a cart and left the store through the garden department to an awaiting vehicle. (Source

Colorado Spring Police are looking for a phony gift card scammer.   While Colorado Springs police officers were executing a search warrant at Just Computers, Amber Smidt arrived on scene wanting to sell gift cards to the store. Investigation revealed the gift cards were from stolen merchandise returned at J.C. Penny's. Further investigation revealed she also sold $400 in fraudulent cards to a victim who is a quadriplegic. The cards were invalid and never activated. Amber Smidt is currently wanted for Money Laundering, Theft by Receiving and Theft from an At Risk Adult. (Source

Well dressed man steals over $5000 in merchandise from Walgreen’s in Colorado.  Authorities in Colorado are looking for a well-groomed man suspected of stealing more than $2,600 worth of teeth-whitening strips, weight-loss pills, probiotics, condoms, Rogaine and other hair-growth products from several Walgreens stores. Jefferson County sheriff's officials said Thursday that the thefts happened April 11. The same man also is suspected of stealing from Walgreens stores in Arvada and Golden a day earlier. Investigators say the man, wearing a sweater, tie, slacks and a neatly groomed mustache and beard, apparently used a coat that he was carrying to conceal the stolen goods. Investigators say it appears he would buy a DVD before leaving the store as a possible cover for the door alarm activating. (Source

$1,000 reward offered for tips on Briarwood Mall serial shoplifter, MI.  Inch has existing warrants for retail fraud, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest and obstruction, said Troy Macon, Crime Stoppers' Washtenaw County director. Inch is suspected in numerous retail frauds at Sears within Briarwood Mall and is wanted by Ann Arbor police. (Source

Two shoplifters in Pennsylvania are on the run after eluding police.
Police said a pair suspected of retail theft at the Oxford Valley Mall on Thursday scuffed up a police car with their GMC Yukon Denali before getting away. Police got the address associated with the Denali's license plate and forwarded the information to Philadelphia police. According to Middletown police, the female driver and male passenger are suspected of stealing from several stores in the mall Thursday afternoon. Police said they attempted to pull over the car, the suspects seemed to cooperate, but then made a U-turn, hit the patrol car and fled. Police said they didn't pursue the SUV because of the amount of traffic and safety policies. (Source

Jacksonville Police arrest 5 suspects in $100,000 shoplifting ring.  Police made five arrests after a gang of shoplifters stole merchandise from more than 19 Walmarts and Targets. The suspects have made more than $100,000 from thefts across five different counties over a six month period. The group was focused as working as a team and focused on high end electronics. Now suspects Arkeen Woods, Samaria Gay, Antonio Calhoun, Jaron Scott, and Wesley Walker have been charged with grand theft. (Source

ORC thieves turn themselves in in Plattsburgh, NY  Police say surveillance cameras captured the pair walking out of the Wal-Mart store in Plattsburgh with about $8,000 in electronic merchandise that they didn't pay for. Police released the photos to the public and that led the two suspects to turn themselves in. The suspects led police to $20,000 more in stolen merchandise. (Source

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