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ORC 3-4-15




Chicago police arrest several in alleged $2M smash-and-grab burglary ring
Chicago police announced they have arrested several people in connection with a series of smash-and-grab burglaries committed over the last two years. Police said more than 40 businesses were the victims of this criminal operation, which netted more than $2 million worth of merchandise, including everything from electronics, to fur coats, to designer jeans. The alleged thieves were seen on surveillance video using stolen vehicles to crash into businesses before racing from the scene with merchandise. The two-year-long crime spree, police say, was the work of South Side gang members. Police announced Tuesday the arrests of four Chicago men. Police also arrested an unnamed juvenile, and identified four more men being sought. Dozens may have been involved in the more than 40 alleged burglaries in Chicago, the suburbs and other parts of the Midwest. The retailers targeted range from big box stores, to high-end Gold Coast boutiques and mom-and-pop businesses on the South and West Sides.

Martinsville, VA Police take aim at Regional Theft Ring targeting grocery stores and pharmacies  The Martinsville Police Department is working to stop shoplifting in the city. Police chief Sean Dunn says it's a crime on the rise in the city and its part of something a lot bigger. "We think this is a broader regional organized theft type ring," says Chief Dunn. "We don't think this is just Martinsville, Henry County we think it goes a number of jurisdictions the same people." Chief Dunn says some of the targets are grocery stores and pharmacies like CVS on East Church Street. Last month police say a man and a woman left the store with three baskets full of razor refills, deodorant, and body wash. The items are worth about $900 total. "We're not only going after the shoplifters but we're going after the organization if they exist behind this retail theft," says Dunn. In several cases, Chief Dunn believes some of the stolen items are then sold at local flea markets. He says its a crime the police department is working to stop. "We've increased our presence at our retail stores," says Dunn. "We found our primary targets so we've been parking police cars there, recording activity that's going on and have officers making a sweep through stores."

Couple and daughter accused of theft scheme at Batavia, NY Target
A scheme to steal or pay reduced prices for merchandise from a city department store led to the arrest of three members of the same family, including a woman and her daughter who worked there, according to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Janet M. Knauss, 49, of Caledonia, who worked as a cashier at the Target on Veterans Memorial Drive, was charged with felony counts of grand larceny and falsifying business records, and a misdemeanor count of conspiracy, deputies reported Tuesday. The charges are related to her conspiring with her husband and daughter to steal more than $1,400 in merchandise on myriad occasions. The thefts were perpetrated through false discounts, voided transactions and bagging items without scanning them, deputies said.

Boston woman sentenced to 54 months in prison for multi-state credit card fraud scheme - Bought gift cards and high-value merchandise in stores   A Boston woman was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison in connection with a fraudulent credit card scheme that operated in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Georgia. Lois Patricia Patton (a/k/a "Trida" and Lois Patton-Haynes), 45, was sentenced in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas, in April 2014 Patton conspired with others to purchase gift cards and high-value merchandise at retail box stores in the three states using retail credit card accounts and lines of credit that she and her co-conspirators opened in names of others without their authorization or knowledge. Patton and the others were able to do that by using misappropriated personal identifying information, false identification cards and, on some occasions, disguises to make the illegal transactions. As part of her sentence, Patton is to make total restitution of $15,604 to Synchrony Bank, Citibank N.A. and Target Financial & Retail Services.

Deputies search for 2 female suspects related to Estero, FL Apple Store theft
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help identifying two women believed to be working together to covertly steal more than $1,500 in electronics from the Apple Store in Estero. According to detectives, the female with dark hair, wearing a black shirt, entered the Apple Store at the Coconut Point Mall around 12:40 p.m. on February 21st. As she stood near the accessories section of the store, a clerk asked her if she needed help, to which the woman stated she was "just looking." Moments later, a second female with blonde hair showed up, and appeared to block the other female, as she loaded up a Go Pro video camera, three sets of wireless Beats headphones and a Beats speaker into a black bag. The women then left the store, never paying for the $1,550 in electronics that were stolen. Three days later, on February 24, the dark haired female, this time wearing a black and white shirt, showed back up at the same Apple Store, walking away with numerous electronic items valued at $4,499, again without paying.

Volusia County Sheriff's Office Honors Law Enforcement Investigator for Busting Florida ORC Crime Ring  When a large-scale organized retail theft ring was recently discovered operating out of Deltona, it took an investigator with dedication, motivation and tenacity to take on the complex case. Fortunately, Volusia County Sheriff's Investigator Cordell Lemay was more than up to the task. Working in conjunction with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Investigator Lemay helped topple the criminal organization with five racketeering arrests. His skillful handling of the case earned Investigator Lemay recognition last November as the Volusia County Sheriff's Office's Investigator of the 3rd Quarter of 2014. Investigator Lemay was assigned the retail theft investigation back in May 2014. Through the investigation, it was learned that the organization's criminal activity spanned multiple jurisdictions and involved numerous suspects and the theft of more than $1.25 million in property from retail stores in just a year's time. "Nearly every day, Investigator Lemay came to work early and stayed late," Sergeant Todd Smith noted in a memo nominating Investigator Lemay for the award. "He worked on the weekends, on his days off and even in the middle of the night. He sacrificed his personal life and free time in order to bring down this complex and devastating organization."

Muskegon Hts., Mich. woman sentenced to 18 months for organized retail crime

Traffic stop leads to arrests of 3 Bronx men with fake credit cards

ORC 3-4-15
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