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ORC 5-21-15




Adding Five More ORC Associations takes Total to 39 Nationwide
After publishing the list of the Organized Retail Crime Associations in the U.S. yesterday, we received five more organizations to add to that list.

Area Law Enforcement and Retail Team (ALERT) - Memphis, TN

Northwest Organized Retail Crime Alliance

Oklahoma Organized Retail Crime Association

Los Angeles Area Organized Retail Crimes Association

Philadelphia Organized Retail Crime Alliance

Organized Retail Crime is growing, and so are the groups helping to mitigate this threat. Thank you Kevin Thompson, Rich Whidden, Norm Smaligo, Joe LaRocca and Eric Mizner for providing us with these associations to add to our growing list. Are we missing any? Let us know! Stay tuned for 'The History of ORC in North America.' Get involved and help the effort to get Federal Legislation!

Fencing Operation Busted in San Antonio - $30,000 in cash and tens of thousands of dollars' worth of stolen property recovered  San Antonio police have busted up a four-person theft ring that authorities believe are responsible for at least 10-12 retail thefts of high-end clothing and merchandise totaling tens of thousands of dollars. Police arrested three men and a woman Wednesday afternoon, said Sgt. Javier Salazar, a police spokesman. He said they are suspected of having committed retail thefts at stores from San Antonio to New Braunfels. Over several weeks, three male suspects worked together over a series of days to target one store," Salazar said. He said the men are suspected of doing "snatch-and-grabs" and also at times removing security tags from clothing and returning the next day to the store to take those items.

Salazar said detectives conducting the surveillance observed the suspects meet with an employee of a restaurant located in the 2500 block of West Avenue. "Detectives were able to get into the residence of the employee of the restaurant and recover $30,000 in cash and tens of thousands of dollars' worth of stolen property," Salazar said. Once authorities were in the home, they found high-end clothing, tennis shoes and handbags, Salazar said, "just about anything that wasn't nailed down that they could grab," was taken, he said. San Antonio worked with police departments in Selma and New Braunfels.

ORC Trio busted stealing TV's from Walmart to support heroin addiction in Mahoning Township, PA  The shoplifting last month of a $420 television from the Walmart in Mahoning Township has led to the thieves responsible for stealing $3,500 in merchandise over three weeks, police said. The thefts were carried out April 3, 4, 6, 10 and 24, Mahoning police said. Kraynak took part in four of the thefts; and Carter in two, police said. Hollie Carsia, 28, helped Kraynak in three; and an unnamed person helped Carter in one, police said.

Heroin is driving ORC in Reno, NV. & Heroin is making a comeback
Reno police are seeing more boosters hitting apparel stores to make their money to buy heroin. They claim the nation has done a good job at combating the prescription pill epidemic, but what that has done is made pills more expensive," the officer said. "It is easier now for these younger generations of kids to buy heroin." One retail store was a target among addicts. "Like clothing stores they can chase you outside and they can tackle you themselves," the woman in custody told me. "Walmart, they can't. The greeter at the door yells at you and that's about it," says one inmate and heroin addict.

Six people busted for using fraudulent credit cards at Target stores in South Charleston, W.Va. - Suspects arrested multiple times since Jan.  Six people from New Jersey are facing charges out of Kanawha County, after police say they were using fraudulent credit cards at Target stores. Itrue Brunner, 20, Angel Chapman, 20, Garry Gaston, 20, Jerome Hilton, 20, Edward Rios, 20, and Dejon Williams, 26, are charged with one count of Fraud In Connection with Access Devices. Officers with the South Charleston Police Department were called to the Target store on RHL Boulevard about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, because of suspects using stolen credit cards in the store. Earlier in the week, Target sent out a company-wide alert, with photos of the suspects in the South Charleston, Wheeling, and Morgantown stores. A description of a van they were in was also sent in the alert. South Charleston Police pulled over the van and saw several cards in the vehicle's door panels and cup holders, as well as in the wallet of the driver, Garry Gaston. Detectives believe the suspects used stolen credit card information and re-encoded them onto gift cards and prepaid credit cards. This is still an open investigation. We have a large amount of cards with a lot of data on them.

Itrue Brunner and Angel Chapman were both arrested in January in New Jersey for the use of fraudulent credit cards. Chapman was arrested again in February for using stolen credit card information encoded onto other cards. She apparently told police she had 100 stolen credit cards when she was arrested in February.

U.S. Secret Service Joins Investigation In Multistate Credit Card Fraud In Kanawha County, WV; 6 arrested hitting Target stores  The U.S. Secret Service is getting involved in credit-card fraud case believed to be spanning multiple states after six suspects were arrested in Kanawha County. Edward Rios, Dejon Williams, Garry Gatson, Angel Chapman, Itrue Brunner and Jerome Hilton, all of New Jersey, are each charged with one count of credit card fraud. But Detective C.A. Cook with the South Charleston Police Department said as the investigation continues, more charges will likely be filed. South Charleston police said it happened after the South Charleston Target said several people were using stolen credit cards at their store on Tuesday. Police stopped a vehicle matching the description of the Target suspects' vehicle traveling north on Route 601/Jefferson Road. Police said they found credit cards and prepaid cards in one of the suspect's wallet, the cup holder, the center console, and in the door panel of the van. Police said they called the Secret Service after they found the large amount of stolen credit cards with information that didn't match the bank information and had been re-encoded onto gift cards and prepaid credit cards. Right now, police were only able to confirm the bank account information with one bank, that's why each person is only facing one count. More charges are pending as the investigation continues. Police also said one of the suspects, Angel Chapman, is facing similar charges in New Jersey. Police said Chapman told them she had 100 stolen credit cards when she was arrested in that case in February.

Jurors find Akron, OH man Guilty of Stealing more than $1 Million in Food Stamp Scam  An Akron storekeeper was convicted Wednesday of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and all other felony charges for pocketing more than $1 million in a food-stamp scam. Johnnie Byrd III, 45, was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies immediately after the verdicts were read and Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones revoked his bond. Sentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. May 28. Prosecutors said Byrd faces a maximum penalty of 24 years in prison along with sizable fines. The verdicts were announced at 4:15 p.m. following about four hours of deliberations. Byrd, seated at the defense table in a dark suit and open-collar shirt, had no visible reaction to the decision. Once he was led out of the courtroom, however, the lead state investigator, Jacqueline Largent of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, exchanged a high-five with Sheriff's Detective Anne Manuel, who played an extensive role in the investigation. "A lot of hard work," Manuel said afterward. Largent and Manuel then shook hands with Summit Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Sims, the government's lead attorney in the case. In addition to Byrd's conviction under the state's racketeering law, he was found guilty of grand theft, money laundering, telecommunications fraud and illegal use of food stamps.

Thieves hit Walmart in Columbia and Baker Counties for $46,000 in cellphones  The Lake City Police Department is searching for four people after nearly $50,000 worth of cellphones were stolen from Walmarts in Columbia and Baker Counties in the same day. Investigators said they arrived in what appears to be a silver GMC Terrain SUV, possibly a rental vehicle. Police said they used a shopping cart and grabbed a black rolling luggage bag and headed to the electronics section. On May 11 around 6:30 a.m., the male suspect crawled behind the electronics counter and forcibly opened the storage cabinets, according to police. At the same time, one of the female suspects kept watch and the other two distracted nearby Walmart associates, police said.

Lawton, TX Woman Charged with $30,000 Credit Card Abuse at Academy Sports and Harbor Freight  A Lawton woman was arrested after police say she was using credit cards that had been altered. Wichita Falls police say the incident happened back on August 8th of last year, when 34-year-old Keli Elizabeth Ghoulson told officers she was trying to buy items at Academy Sports. Ghoulson said the card was denied, but according to the arrest affidavit, the Mastercard appeared to be altered and the original name and card number had been scratched off. The back magnetic strip also appeared scratched, making it unusable. Officers searched Ghoulson's vehicle and found two notebooks containing more than 100 16 digit numbers, black embossing letters and sales receipts from Academy Sports in Wichita Falls, Texas and in Edmond, Oklahoma. Records indicate that there were 81 compromised credit cards and more than $30,000 dollars in fraud loss. A second arrest affidavit on Ghoulson states that a Harbor Freight receipt in the amount of just over $1,400 dollars was found in Ghoulson's possession, and that new items from that store were in the trunk of her vehicle. Ghoulson told police she used a Green Dot card to make the purchases, but police say she used an altered credit/debit card.

Multi-State crime spree ends at Sapulpa Walmart: suspected in 27 C-Store robberies  A man wanted in a two-state crime spree is behind bars now at the Creek County Jail. Officials said Bobby Blankenship, 28, is wanted in more than two dozen robberies and several more crimes. FOX23 learned Wednesday that Blankenship's crimes stretched from Drumright all the way to Fort Smith. The crime that ended it all was stealing a DVD from a Sapulpa Walmart. LeFlore County Sheriff's Investigators told FOX23 that Blankenship could be connected to as many as 27 convenience store robberies in LeFlore, Sequioa, Sebastian and Polk counties. He's also wanted in Haskell and McIntosh counties. Sapulpa police said Blankenship's crime spree ended when he was caught by Walmart loss prevention officers.


ORC 5-21-15
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