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ORC 5-22-15




Twin Cities, MN Police, retailers join to fight organized retail crime  Organized crime rings are swiping perfume and electronics, hitting multiple stores in a single day. They steal cellphones and ship them to Asia for big profits. They use fake credit cards and increasingly elaborate schemes to steal money from gift cards. Now police and businesses leaders have formed the Twin Cities Organized Retail Crime Association (TCORCA) to better share information across the region and catch criminals in what is becoming an increasingly complex and organized brand of stealing. "The way that we should be tackling crime as a whole is by making sure we come at it from an organized crime perspective," said St. Paul Police Sgt. Charlie Anderson. Last week, federal authorities in Minneapolis announced indictments against nine people accused of trafficking at least $3.8 million in stolen cellular devices that were shipped to Hong Kong. Anderson helped unravel the scam with coordination from retailers and law enforcement agencies, an effort that preceded the formation of the group. We are trying to have "a systematic approach," Anderson said. "We can't do these investigations alone or we would fail." The nonprofit organization was formed late last year by a group of law enforcement, corporate fraud and loss prevention investigators, as well as prosecutors. The group hosts a private website where members can share immediate retail crime alerts to identify offenders and to target criminal enterprises. Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, said the group is a "great tool" to combat crime. A national survey found more than 88 percent of retailers report being a victim of organized crime in the past year. "Today's criminal activity, especially on an organized level, has become extremely sophisticated and it really requires a real-time collaboration between retailers, financial institutions, and law enforcement," Nustad said. During a TCORCA meeting recently in West St. Paul, the 200 attendees included police and loss-prevention professionals sharing information and learning about organized retail crime trends.

Frisco TX Police Chief: 'THEY WILL EVENTUALLY GET CAUGHT', Officers still seeking 'Organized' Jewelry Store Robbery Suspects  Unlike a week ago, there's no massing of police or Metroplex-wide media focus on Frisco to indicate it, but a search for suspects in the robbery of Markham Fine Jewelers continues. "They will eventually get caught," Police Chief John Bruce predicted this week. On May 15, his officers, including Special Operations and K9 units, spent several hours searching Dr Pepper Arena and adjacent parking garage, because the suspects' vehicle was seen turning into the garage shortly after the robbery at 8355 Gaylord Parkway. State troopers were also at the scene. Officers recovered the vehicle, which had been stolen in another city, but found no suspects, police said. Bruce theorized that the suspects had already fled on foot or gotten away in a backup vehicle. "They were organized," he said. According to the department's official account, officers responded to the burglary in progress around 10:04 a.m. and were told by jewelry store employees how four armed, masked subjects entered and began breaking glass cases, taking several pieces of jewelry before fleeing the store. No one was injured during the robbery.

Serial shoplifter turns himself in Pima Co, AZ; stole over $2,000 in merchandise
One of two men wanted for shoplifting at least 25 times turned himself in to the Pima County Sheriff's Department on Thursday. The department tells us 22-year-old Jesus Cota had seen himself on news stories and on Facebook. Cota and another suspect were featured on Tucson's Most Wanted earlier this week. Cota was booked on 30 counts of aggravated shoplifting and one count of theft. All told, the Sheriff's department says they took merchandise worth $2,000. Cota and another suspect were caught on surveillance cameras shoplifting from two different Circle K locations, one near Country Club and Ajo, and the other at 36th and Campbell. Often they would walk into the stores in broad daylight, and simply walk out with 30-packs of beer without paying.

3 females shoplifted from Home Goods in Evesham, NJ ; 2 tried to fight security guards  Three suspected female shoplifters from Philadelphia were arrested Wednesday on charges that they stole from the Home Goods store on Route 73, and two of them allegedly fought with store employees, police said Thursday. Juanna Tayloer, 25; Mahogany White, 28; and Shyfeanah Purnell, 25, were taken into custody at 2 p.m. after taking more than $600 worth of merchandise, police said.

Man caught stealing diabetic testers in Allen Park, MI claims he was blackmailed
A 27-year-old Monroe man who was arrested May 12 for shoplifting at the Meijer store at Fairlane Green said he was blackmailed into doing it. The man entered the store around 2:50 p.m. and selected two Accu-Chek diabetic test strip packages, worth a total of about $300. He then walked to the outdoor garden department rear gate, where a woman pulled up in a car. The man handed the bag to the woman through the gate without paying for the items, and the woman drove away. The store's loss prevention officers confronted the man about the theft and allowed him to call the woman to tell her to bring the merchandise back. She returned to the store a few minutes later and handed back the items through the gate before fleeing the location. The man told police that the woman was a friend of his fiancee's, and that she blackmailed him into stealing the items out of fear that she will persuade his fiancee to never let him see his daughter again. He was arrested for retail fraud and issued a $300 bond.


ORC 5-22-15
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