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2011 Archives

On Thursday, police authorities and retailers shared information that can help them fight organized crime rings. It's the second annual meeting to share information about criminals and ways to protect businesses from their thieving ways. "They're always thinking, they're always getting better, they're always devising new schemes," said Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston. Cops say upgraded security camera and alarm systems in the stores can help them track criminals and connect the cases. They say the thieves are well-organized, bold and highly selective. "We're actually seeing these theft rings put out shopping lists," said Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz. "People actually order what they want to have stolen for them and then there's these crews that go out and steal the items and then sell them, in many cases, for 10 cents or 25 cents on the dollar." We're talking shoplifting teams, burglary rings, and smash-and-grab artists like Los Vatos Locos, a gang that specialized in driving stolen cars through store windows and looting the place long after business hours. Its ringleader, Michael Montoya, 21, is serving a 20-year prison sentence. Last year, APD reported an 11 percent reduction in commercial burglaries, but police say there's still a long way to go. "What shows the importance of organized retail theft is a bust from a couple of weeks ago," said Schultz. "It was actually a bunch of Albanians, so we know that organized retail theft doesn't only support drug addicts in many cases, but in some cases may actually support terrorism abroad." (Source

Authorities discovered more than $2 million worth of stolen plastic pallets in a Compton California warehouse. Along with the stolen pallets, the Sheriff’s Industrial Plastic Theft Task Force found 500 marijuana plants worth about $120,000 on the street. Four men were arrested as a result, on suspicion of possession of stolen property, cultivation of marijuana, illegal possession of trademarked plastic products and theft of electricity. The four men were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail each. The discovery was made during a compliance check at a commercial building. One official said that they are more likely to perform compliance checks, especially if they have information about noncompliance. The owner-marked plastic pallets were described as the type typically used to transport beverages such as soda or milk. In May, the Task Force discovered $1.3 million in stolen plastic pallets at a plastic recycler location. (Source

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