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ORC 6-10-15





San Diego Police Bust Major Lego Theft Ring; Toys R Us estimates $100,000 loss  San Diego police made a major bust on Tuesday -- taking down an organized crime ring that was stealing Legos, Disney "Frozen" items and other merchandise from local toy stores. And we're not talking about just petty shoplifting. Detectives say there were five people in the ring and they hit five San Diego-area Toys R Us stores at least 30 times, sometimes more than once in the same day. Surveillance video shows them walking right out of stores with shopping carts full of toys. All told, they made off with $100,000 worth of merchandise. Three of the suspects have been arrested, a fourth is already in custody on an unrelated charge and the fifth suspect is on the run. The three in custody are 29-year-old Liliana Marquez, 26-year-old Juan Camacho and 21-year-old Elizabeth Bojorquez.


Two Quebec Men face hundreds of charges after $1.5M auto parts theft in Toronto  Two Quebec men are facing a total of 231 charges after an extensive auto parts theft investigation, Toronto Police announced Tuesday. Over the last four months, the men allegedly stole more than $1.5 million worth of catalytic converters from large trucks parked in industrial areas from northeast Toronto to south Etobicoke. Thieves target them for high-valued metals, including trace amounts of rhodium, palladium and platinum, police said. Police allege the men are responsible for stealing $20,000 worth of catalytic converters from an Etobicoke furniture charity in February. Thieves rendered five of Furniture Bank's six trucks out of commission, leaving the group temporarily unable to pick up donated furniture or drop it off to those in need. Christian Ducas was arrested after a search warrant was executed in Terrebonne, Que., on May 25. Five days later, Carl Savoie was arrested in Riviere-Bleu, Que. The pair were handed over to Toronto Police last Thursday and appeared at 1000 Finch Ave. W. court the next day. Savoie is charged with nine counts of break-and-enter, 67 counts of theft over $5,000, theft of a motor vehicle, 60 counts of failure to comply with probation, and 17 counts of failure to comply with a condition of judicial release. Ducas is facing one count of break-and-enter, 67 counts of theft over $5,000, and theft of a motor vehicle.

Multi-State ORC gang hit Ulta stores for $27,000 in merchandise; 2 have warrants out for their arrest  Menique Jeanelle Hardy, of Milwaukee, charged with felony aiding and abetting theft at Ulta in Woodbury, posted bail May 1 and is awaiting a contested omnibus hearing and ultimately trial. Mercedes D. Hardwick, Travis Antoine Arrington and Gerard Selwyn Smith were alleged accomplices in the theft of 104 bottles of perfume worth $7,341 in a two-minute raid on the Tamarack Village store. They were each charged with aiding and abetting each other. According to the complaint, the four defendants were involved in nine incidents at Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa stores, which suffered a total loss of $27,224. Surveillance photos from Woodbury matched their past booking photos and facebook photos. Hardwick posted bail May 6 and made an initial appearance in Washington County District Court on June 3. Smith and Arrington each have a warrant out for their arrest.

Prison for 1 of 4 accused in Cabela's gift card scheme to pay for drug habit
The first in a quartet of accused criminals has been sentenced in a scheme where police say shoplifted items were exchanged for gift cards that were then sold at steep discounts to fund drug addictions. Stephanie Joy Bekkering, 27, will spend the next 18 months to 20 years in prison after she admitted to joining her husband and two other men in the heroin-fueled endeavor. According to Grandville Police Department investigators, 22-year-old Todd Nathan Jamison stole items from Cabela's Sporting Goods Store near RiverTown Crossings mall in Grandville at the behest of Bekkering's husband, 29-year-old Kyle Nathan Scheuneman and another man. The group returned the stolen items to the store where they would receive gift cards because they had no receipts, police say. Police say Joel Austin McMullen, 27, would then sell the gift cards -- usually at a 50 percent discount --netting the group more than $3,000, which was used primarily to buy narcotics. Selling the gift cards to pawn shops helped investigators identify the suspects and crack the ring, according to police.

Two man ORC crew hitting Walmart stores in Smyrna, Tenn. stealing thousands in merchandise and iPhones  Police are searching for the two men who are accused of stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise, including iPhones, from two area Walmart stores. The first incident happened at the Smyrna Walmart last Thursday just before 8 p.m. Police said while inside the store, the pair appeared to pick a lock to gain access to a case where the iPhones were kept. The men fled the store with several iPhones that are said to be valued at more than $2,500. A short time later, around 9:15 p.m. the same men entered the Walmart in Winchester and reportedly stole around $28,000 of store merchandise. The men fled the scene in an early 2000s model, gray four-door sedan driven by an unknown driver. Anyone with information on either incident is urged to call the Smyrna Police Department at 615-267-5434 or the Winchester Police Department at 931-967-3840.

Facing 20 charges of Retail Theft; stealing Baby Formula in Sheboygan, WI  The Plymouth woman facing charges for stealing baby formula from area stores has been charged for more offenses. 26 year old Jessica Saunders was charged Tuesday with two retail thefts, one felony and one misdemeanor, for her alleged acts of theft at the Plymouth Wal-Mart this past spring. According to the criminal complaint, one theft occurred March 29 and involved around 600-dollars worth of formula. The other incident occurred April 22 and involved over 400-dollars worth of formula. Saunders made her initial appearance in Sheboygan County Court Tuesday for these charges. Online court records show Saunders faces a total of 20 retail theft charges, ten each in Sheboygan and Waukesha counties, for incidents in March, April, and May.

Rolling Hills Estates Abercrombie & Fitch targeted again in fragrance theft
Detectives are trying to identify a pair of thieves suspected of bagging about 40 bottles of cologne from the same Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store in Rolling Hills Estates that was targeted in a similar crime in April. Sheriff's deputies said that when a man and a woman entered the store at the Promenade on the Peninsula shopping mall at about 1:30 p.m. May 29, a laptop bag and designer purse they each carried appeared to be lightweight and empty. But about 20 minutes later - just after employees noticed a fragrance display rack was suddenly empty - the bags looked bulky as the pair walked out of the store. The man is described as Latino, 35 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds, and the woman is described as a Latina, 25 years old, 5 feet 3 inches tall and 100 pounds. The duo made off with more than $2,000 worth of cologne, according to Sgt. Thomas Arellano of the Lomita sheriff's station. He said investigators are following leads, but have not yet linked the incident with a holdup at the store in April in which $3,000 of perfume was stolen. Two gang members were charged with robbery in May in that crime.

Warehouse Manager at MacPherson's in Suwannee, GA was stealing Art Supplies for 9 months to sell on eBay  Police in Gwinnett County say Pedro Arana spent the past nine months stealing expensive art supplies from his employer, and then selling those goods on eBay. According to investigators, Arana had easy access to expensive art supplies in his position as warehouse manager for MacPherson's in Suwannee. That company is a wholesale supplier of art materials to retail outlets. Investigators say Arana would steal items including expensive paint and high-end design markers, and then ship them to buyers all over the globe. Authorities say he would sell the goods at cost or below market value and then pocket the money. He was arrested after a co-worker became suspicious and alerted management.


ORC 6-10-15
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