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ORC 8-10-15




Fencing Operation: St. Augustine Pawn Shop Owner Arrested - ORC Ring Leader that hit Target, Wal-Mart, & Home Depot stores  The owner of EZ Money Pawn Shop in St. Augustine was arrested Thursday in connection to a raid at the shop that occurred last month. Robert Benton Ellis, of St. Augustine, is accused of being a leader of a group that "initiated several grand thefts on several occasions from Target, Wal-Mart and Home Depot business," according to the arrest affidavit.

The group targeted stores in St. Johns and Duval counties, and the stolen property was sold to Ellis at his pawn shop, located at located at 2640 U.S. 1 South. Ellis, 56, would then pay cash for the merchandise. The suspects worked as a group at times and took orders from Robert Ellis for specific items," the affidavit said. The other suspects in the case told investigators the same story - they "stole several items at retail outlets at the request of Robert Ellis" and then "sold them to Robert Ellis at his business." The investigation is ongoing.

Police, district attorney not ready to prosecute Janesville Landlord for Home Depot ORC retail theft ring - Landlord running major Home Depot Gift Card Ring  Police believe a Janesville landlord owning over 80 properties is participating if not running a shoplifting scheme involving thefts of more than $30,000, but the district attorney won't prosecute their case. District Attorney David O'Leary said police don't have proof to support their allegations, and he won't take the case to court.

Police are convinced the landlord is guilty of bankrolling the scheme. But after "countless" meetings with the investigators, O'Leary said he was not convinced police have definitive proof of the potential charge-conspiracy to commit retail theft.

Police interviewed dozens of people they believe stole items from Home Depot or returned items others had stolen for in-store credit. The credit was loaded onto plastic cards, which the shoplifters sold through an intermediary to the landlord for 50 cents or 60 cents on the dollar. Police believe Richard D. "Rick" Donahue, 3735 Skyview Drive, who owns numerous rental properties in the city, bought the Home Depot cards, knowing they were the result of shoplifting.

Police have Home Depot records showing Donahue used the cards to buy building materials to work on his properties, but only one witness can testify Donahue knew the cards were the result of thefts. That person is Tyler J. Groeller, 30, of 3704 Stuart St., No. 8, Janesville, an admitted heroin user and organizer of the thefts. He told police several different stories before telling them he organized the thefts to sell the cards to Donahue. Groeller told police he paid his "returners" and sold the cards to Donahue.

Home Depot requires identification when getting the cards and when using them, and company records show Donahue used cards that originated with 55 different Rock County residents, said officer Jennifer Reed, the primary investigator on the case. Police believe Donahue was taking advantage of disadvantaged and drug-addicted people and remodeling entire residences with the cards.

ORC Ring of Thieves Steal $58,000 Worth of Cosmetics From CVS Stores in Five Southern California Counties - May be bigger operation  A man and two women suspected of stealing nearly $60,000 worth of high-end cosmetics from CVS stores in five counties were arrested after the crimes were caught on security cameras.

The suspects are accused in the thefts of more than $58,650 worth of cosmetics at stores in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Seal Beach police arrested the three suspects earlier this week after detectives obtained the security camera video from thefts in Orange County.

The thefts began in June 2013. Video showed the subjects walking into the store and taking items from a wall of cosmetic items. The charges are in connection with crimes committed in Orange County It was not immediately clear whether authorities in other counties will pursue criminal charges. Two of the suspects are being held without bond. Police believe there's more to this case.

Traveling fraudsters busted in Minneapolis - hit 8 cities with cloned credit cards buying gift cards  Two men believed by police to have used fraudulent credit cards in at least eight metro area cities have been charged with identity theft and fraud. Josiel Turano, 25, and Ricorango Magdiel, 26, are accused of using four cloned credit cards at the White Bear Township Cub Foods to ring up $1,819.48 in gift card purchases. Turano and Magdiel left the Cub Foods in a rental car and were arrested in Rosemount. Police say video surveillance shows they were also involved in fraudulent in transactions in Eagan, Shakopee, Burnsville, West St. Paul, Cottage Grove, Inver Grove Heights and Woodbury.

Four member Credit Card Fraud Ring busted Hitting Walmart stores in Evesham, N.J.  Four people allegedly connected to a New York credit card fraud ring were arrested early Friday morning after reportedly ramming a police car in the parking lot of a local store the night before and fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed. Police were called to the Walmart on Route 70 about 9 p.m. Thursday for a report of four suspects who were identified by store security as being part of a credit card fraud ring that had been targeting Walmart stores in the area. The men had attempted to buy iPads with fraudulent credit cards but store staff turned them away, police said. When the suspects, all from Brooklyn, New York.

Shoplifter steals $2500 worth of cosmetics at Hermosa, South Dakota CVS
The suspect cleaned out an entire section of the cosmetics area and loaded the products into a store hand basket. "According to the manager, that's one of the most expensive things in the store," Hermosa Police Sgt. Kevin Averill said. "

Three Denton, TX men arrested for theft at JC Penney, Dillards and Zumies
Two 19-year-old men and one 17-year-old man were arrested and charged with organized retail theft between $50 to $500 after they took items from J.C. Penney, Zumiez and Dillard's, according to police reports.

Serial Shoplifter arrested again at Walmart in Walnut Hill, CA
A Walnut Hill man with a history of shoplifting arrests is facing a felony charge for allegedly stealing a 32-gallon tote full of underwear.

Athens, GA: Women shoplift underwear from Victoria's Secret at Georgia Square Mall  On Saturday, an Athens-Clarke County Police officer was dispatched to Victoria's Secret at Georgia Square Mall in reference to a shoplifting complaint. The employee told the officer that another customer approached her and told her they observed the women putting underwear into their purses. When the two women were approached, they walked out of the store. It was reported that $750 worth of underwear was taken from the store.

Police bust man stealing 19 boxes of condoms from Rite Aid in the Bronx, NY

ORC 8-10-15
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