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ORC 4-10-15




One of Three Arrested in Connection to Organized Retail Theft from Ralphs Grocery Stores Due in Court; accused of theft of $1 Million in product  One of three men accused of stealing goods from a Ralphs distribution center in Riverside is slated to be arraigned Thursday. Charles Jeffrey Cherry, 48, of Colton was arrested in early February following an investigation that allegedly uncovered evidence that he, 58-year- old Froilan Lopez Garcia of Menifee and 34-year-old Dean Thompson of Temecula had stolen products altogether valued at more than $1 million. Thompson has pleaded not guilty; Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned in May. All three defendants are free on bond. According to Riverside police, the Ralphs grocery chain initiated an internal investigation in June 2014 after documenting instances in which food and other goods had been removed from the company's Riverside distribution center. It's believed the thefts went on for months before they were discovered. Detectives from the Riverside police Organized Retail Crime Division were eventually contacted and picked up the investigation, ultimately identifying Cherry, Garcia and Thompson as the alleged perpetrators. Search warrants served at each man's residence resulted in the seizure of $20,000 in stolen merchandise, police alleged.

"Billy The Kid" Arrested for running ORC gang in Wichita Falls, TX
A man who has been arrested numerous times in Wichita Falls and other places around Texas in shoplifting cases is back in Wichita County jail. 29-year-old Austin Bounds is jailed in connection with four Wichita County cases and one from Williamson County. He was arrested in Wichita Falls last December in what police say appeared to be a "team" shoplifting scheme at Best Buy in which they say a camera was taken. Officers say there appeared to be three people working together bounds cutting the security sensor off the camera, the woman putting her purse down so bounds could put the camera inside, and another man serving as a lookout or diversion. A witness told police the three left in a car and went to Target, where officers tased one suspect and found the other man and the woman hiding in the store. Police say they found other stolen items in the car. Bound was re-arrested for bond violations and a bench warrant for theft, and an evading arrest charge from Williamson County in connection with a rash of thefts in the Round Rock and Austin area. Police there say Bounds is known there as A-town, or Billy the Kid and has arrests dating back to 2002.

Thieves in Grandville, MI return $8,000 of stolen items to Cabela's for gift cards
A band of young thieves who stole from Cabela's and quickly returned the pilfered items for gift cards were using part of the proceeds to support heroin habits, police said Thursday. The four appeared in Grandville District Court Thursday for a probable cause hearing on charges of conducting and conspiring to conduct a criminal enterprise. Over the course of three weeks, they stole an estimated $8,000 in merchandise, which was then returned to Cabela's for in-store credit, court records show. More than 45 gift cards were then sold to area pawn shops or on the streets, netting the group about $3,900. Gift cards were sold for 50 cents on the dollar, court documents show. An affinity for heroin was a binding factor in the thefts, Grandville Police Chief Daniel Steere said. "Heroin drives a lot of this, it really does,'' Steere said. "The retail fraud, the shoplifting and other larceny-type activities are driven by this. It's not just exclusive to Grandville; not at all.''

Man convicted of having addicts shoplift gets 14-month term
A western Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 14 months in prison - far less than the four years federal prosecutors originally sought after he was convicted of enlisting crack addicts to shoplift tens of thousands of dollars' worth of items he then resold at an Ohio flea market. Thursday's sentencing of Terry Sempf, 57, of New Brighton was complicated by the fact that the government couldn't precisely calculate how much stolen merchandise he resold from 2007 to 2010. That's important because federal sentencing guidelines - which recommend a penalty based on the seriousness of one's crimes - are driven by dollar amounts in theft cases. The government had argued Sempf re-sold at least $120,000 worth of DVDs, over-the-counter drugs, cosmetics and beauty aids. But U.S. District Judge David Cercone, even before the sentencing, issued a ruling that the amount was more likely about $80,000, dropping the guideline range to 27 to 33 months.

Woman caught stealing 118 pairs of panties from Victoria's Secret in Rock Hill, SC  Rock Hill Police arrested a Georgia woman Thursday afternoon after Victoria's Secret employees accused her of trying to steal 118 pairs of panties from the Rock Hill Galleria store. Employees told officers the merchandise is valued at more than $1,700, according to police records. The woman is accused of putting the underwear in her purse but then dumping the items back on the store table after being confronted, police say. Authorities say she then ran out of the store but was caught by mall security. Rock Hill officers charged Nathalia Martinez, age 31, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, with first offense shoplifting.

ORC 4-10-15
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