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ORC 2-17-15




Arlington Hts, IL Police arrest four in suspected shoplifting ring that stole $20,000+ in merchandise  A four-month investigation into an organized shoplifting ring culminated over the weekend with the arrests of four suburban residents on allegations they stole thousands of dollars of merchandise from retailers across the Chicago area, Arlington Heights police announced this morning. Police said the suspects used diversionary tactics to distract store's loss prevention employees and targeted Apple, Samsung, Roomba vacuums and Lego products. The stolen merchandise was then sold through an online auction site, police said. On Saturday, police executed search warrants on the suspects homes and bank safe deposit boxes, recovering more than $20,000 in stolen merchandise, authorities said. Also seized were a Mercedes-Benz, two firearms, more than $45,000 in jewelry and $100,000 in cash, police said. Arlington Heights police led the joint investigation, which also included the Cook County State's Attorney Regional Organized Crime Task Force, the Bloomingdale Police Department, the Downers Grove Police Department, the Gurnee Police Department, the Niles Police Department, the Northbrook Police Department, the Schaumburg Police Department and the Vernon Hills Police Department. They received cooperation from Bed Bath & Beyond, HHGregg, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot and Toys R Us.

"Big ring" in Charlotte - one member busted stealing $200 of neck ties from Kohl's over weekend  Police say a Charlotte man suspected of being involved in a "big ring" of shoplifting in North Carolina was arrested in Rock Hill over the weekend, accused of stealing $200 worth of neck ties from Kohl's. Rock Hill officers made the arrest after store employees called police to report the shoplifting incident and said a woman was inside the store, attempting to return the stolen merchandise in exchange for cash. The store's loss prevention employee told police he's "received numerous tips" about the male suspect repeatedly stealing from Kohl's stores in North Carolina. Police charged Thomas Bielefeldt, 43, with first offense shoplifting on Sunday and say he's "known for stealing ties and having a female party enter the store and return them for cash," according to the incident report. The woman, Charlene Williams, 27, also of Charlotte, was also charged with first offense shoplifting, records show.

Man steals over $30,000 worth of sunglasses from Sunglass Hut in St Clair Square Mall, Fairview Hts, IL Police are searching for a suspect who stole more than $30,000 worth of merchandise from a sunglasses kiosk inside a Fairview Heights shopping mall. Employees at the St. Clair Square Mall called police Monday morning to report a man who was acting suspiciously. Officers arrived at the scene and confronted a man carrying two trash bags. The suspect fled in a blue vehicle, which he later abandoned in a residential neighborhood. According to the Fairview Heights Police Department, the man ran off with more than 100 pairs of sunglasses from the Sunglass Hut kiosk. The department says all of the stolen merchandise was found in the man's getaway vehicle.

Group makes off with $8,000 in Ralph Lauren clothing from Tanger Outlets in Fort Myers  More than $8,000 in clothing was found missing from the Ralph Lauren Polo Store at the Tanger Outlets in Fort Myers after store employees said four people took the clothing. A report from the Lee County Sheriff's Office said store employees saw three men and a woman enter the store with what seemed to be empty shopping bags. The four could be seen on surveillance video placing multiple clothing into the bags. One of the men exited the store with several full bags and set off a theft detection alarm. The remaining people also then left the store.

'Bubbly bandit' arrested in Santa Cruz, CA champagne theft
A 49-year-old transient woman turned herself in to authorities Monday after police released images of her stealing $600 worth of champagne from a Santa Cruz grocery store. Laurie Dawn Soderman surrendered to the Santa Cruz Police about 1:30 p.m. and was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor theft and a probation violation. Soderman was on felony probation and has "extensive" theft convictions.

ORC couple busted stealing 15 bottles of perfume from Sephora in Houston

ORC 2-17-15
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