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2011 Archives

Philly area ORC ring of price switchers busted by Montgomery and Lehigh county officials. Law Enforcement officils Thursday reported busting up a retail-fraud scheme in which thieves resold online merchandise they had bought at knockdown prices from Target. The knockdown, officials said Thursday, was done by the thieves themselves. In 46 cases from February to July, they affixed fake UPC labels they had created to pricey items on Target's shelves. Bose speakers, normally selling for $249.99, they bought for $29.99; a Dyson vacuum cleaner that retailed for $549 cost them only $109, said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. The thieves then sold the items, on a fraudulent e-Bay store they had created, for slightly less than the original price, and pocketed the difference, she said. In all, the organized theft ring defrauded more than $20,000 from Target stores in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Ferman said. Resale of the goods generated $172,000. The ring started operating in 2008. These people weren't living the high life," Ferman said in a news briefing Thursday. "They were just using the money to live. It became their job." As of Thursday, someone else will have to bring home the bacon. Ringleader Damian Gasdaska, of Phillipsburg, N.J., and Eugene Romano, of Center Valley, Pa., both in their mid-30s, were in police custody. They are charged with organized retail theft, corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds from illegal activities, and conspiracy. Another accomplice who appears on Target videotape is being sought by police. (Source

Reno ORC ring Id'ed and police found the main suspect believed to be behind a rash of brazen burglaries at local retail stores resulting in thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise. Authorities say 35-year-old Lawrence Viena was found in an abandoned apartment in Northeast Reno. He was booked into the Washoe County Jail after he declined to speak to detectives and instead asked for a lawyer. According to RPD Viena entered several stores, filled a cart or basket full of electronics and other items and then would run out the front door to an awaiting vehicle. The items are then pawned or sold on the Internet. Viena was booked on 6 counts of burglary, 4 counts of grand larceny, and 1 count of robbery. His bail is set at $45,000. Police are still looking for his accomplices, two women in their 30's. The detective division is asking that if you have any information about this case, or the stolen items, that you contact the Property Crimes Division at 334-2133 or Secret Witness at 322-4900. (Source


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