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ORC 6-28-13



Arrested again: Deputies nab leader of a Tampa organized retail theft ring who had 20+ previous arrests  Toccara Huff has a lengthy criminal history that includes 27 different mug shots. Law enforcement says Huff, 31, is a career crook, a habitual offender part of an organized retail theft group. Huff's most recent arrest happened on Tuesday. Deputies say they caught her in a traffic stop with more than $2,500 worth of stolen merchandise she was attempting to sell. The goods, including high-end clothing, perfumes, and handbags came from 17 different stores in the International Mall, Westshore Mall, and Westfield Citrus Park Mall. Detectives say Huff is known to use distraction accomplices and "booster bags" to shoplift. The bags help defeat the electronic sensors that are attached to most merchandise. "Inside the bag is a specially designed method to avoid the electronic detection and security devices," McKinnon said. Huff is currently out of jail on bond. Detectives are working to identify the other individuals she was working with. (Source (Source

Woman who bought $133K with stolen credit card numbers sentenced to 7 years prison.  Melody Macken, 50, of Irvington, N.J., was recently sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for using stolen credit card numbers to buy $133,000 worth of high-end merchandise. Macken, who had previously pled guilty, was also ordered to pay $147,592 to retailers impacted by her activities. Macken acquired credit card numbers by calling retailers and customers and pretending to be a store employee. Using those stolen credit card numbers along with other personal identification information, Macken then purchased items with a total value of more than $133,000, including mattresses, appliances, electronics, luxury apparel, accessories and shoes. Macken's sentence was lengthened due to the fact that she committed a similar crime while out on bail, months after entering her guilty plea. (Source

ORC duo sentenced for hitting Home Depot, Albertsons, Macy's, Target, Walmart, Staples, and Office Depot  According to court documents, the pair, along with others, stole credit cards and credit card account information and then used the information from the stolen credit cards to create counterfeit means of identification. The counterfeit IDs were then presented to merchants in Montana where the defendants impersonated the true credit card account holders and used the credit cards to purchase gift cards and other merchandise without authorization. Officials say the pair rented a car in California and then drove to Montana to commit the fraud. Arriving in Helena on July 29, 2012, they made purchases with the cards at Home Depot, Albertsons, Macy's, Target, Walmart, Staples, and Office Depot. Most of the purchases were gift cards, varying in value from $200 to $1,800 in value. The total value of goods and merchandise purchased on July 29 totaled more than $76,000, and more than 50 different means of identification were used to carry out the fraud scheme. Each were sentenced to 33 months in prison, and must pay $76,398 in restitution. (Source

Canada ORC: Two arrested in credit card fraud that hit Vancouver stores & part of a 4 member ORC ring  The RCMP has arrested a mother and daughter who were allegedly part of an organized crime group that committed more than $90,000 in credit card fraud in communities across Vancouver Island, including Duncan and Mill Bay. Karen Mauro, 63, and Christine Mauro, 46, face multiple counts of fraud under $5,000 and using credit card data. Police allege that the two women were key members of a four-person crime group that was responsible for hundreds of credit card fraud cases from January 2011 to March 2012. Sgt. Peter Thiessen, acting federal media relations officer, said the ring allegedly targeted merchants in 10 communities including Langford, Sidney, Port Alberni, Courtenay, Mill Bay and Duncan. (Source

Florida Attorney General praises Gov. Rick Scott’s passage of the Organized Retail Theft bill.  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi praised Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday for his passage of House Bill 1173, the organized retail theft bill. The bill, which is sponsored by state Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Ross Spano, both Republicans, increases penalties for individuals who commit organized retail theft. The new bill increases the sentencing scoring guidelines for an organized retail theft offense exceeding $50,000. Enhanced penalties make the sentencing of organized retail theft on par with first degree grand theft. An individual convicted of retail theft at $50,000 or more would face a minimum sentence of 21 months in jail. (Source

Abercrombie and Fitch merchandise recovered in Wellington, FL from three ORC suspects.  A foil lined bag and $408 worth of merchandise were recovered when Police arrested three suspects in Wellington, Florida. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s charged the three with grand theft and resisting arrest. An alert employee at Abercrombie noticed the foil lined bag and contacted police. (Source

Two suspects busted at Sak’s Off Fifth in Mebane with over $1700 in merchandise.  Two Fayetteville, North Carolina women hit the Sak’s Off Fifth Tanger Outlet for $1764.83 in merchandise. Police have now charged the two with larceny, defeating an anti-theft device and resisting arrest. (Source

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