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ORC 10-1-15




Catawba Co, NC: Organized Retail Crime Ring sold $12 million
in stolen drugs, beauty products
A 66-year-old Catawba County man was sentenced to eight years in prison this week for what prosecutors said was his role as the leader of an organized retail crime ring. The ring sold and distributed at least $12 million in stolen over-the-counter drugs and health-and-beauty products, Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said. In April 2014, a federal jury convicted Terrell resident Steve Hale of interstate transportation of stolen goods conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen goods, making false statements on income tax forms, failure to collect employee income and FICA taxes, and obstruction of justice. As part of his sentencing, Hale also was ordered to pay a $3,100 special assessment, forfeit a sports boat and $332,195 in seized funds, and pay restitution to his victims. Hale was the last of eight defendants convicted and sentenced in "Operation Cash Back," a multi-agency investigation that began in September 2010. His co-defendants were previously sentenced to prison terms ranging from 1 1/2 to seven years. Investigators seized $29,000 in cash, 20 motor vehicles and two real estate properties and obtained forfeiture money judgments of $7 million.

Nampa, Idaho: Police arrest 2 in multi-state credit card fraud scheme & recovered $27k in merchandise
Police said they were dispatched on Monday to  the 16000 block of Marketplace Boulevard after. They said two people bought more than $6,000 in merchandise from a store in the area. Loss-prevention staff monitored the transaction and identified the purchasers as the two suspects in fraudulent credit card use at the Nampa store's affiliate in Pocatello.

Police said that by the time officers arrived, the suspects had moved on to a sporting goods store. Police said the two were defrauding that store of more than $2,800 in merchandise.

Police said the suspects' car was identified in a parking lot, and they arrested 32-year-old Alberto Miguel Torres-Castillo of Virginia and 32-year-old Zuatney Gonzalez of Florida. Officers said they seized 15 stolen or counterfeited credit cards from Torres-Castillo and 24 stolen or counterfeited credit cards from Gonzalez. Police said they also recovered more than $19,000 of merchandise purchased with the fraudulent credit cards in Pocatello, Meridian, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Bellevue Wash. The investigation is on going.

Costa Mesa, CA: Bloomingdale's Smash & Grab at South Coast Plaza; $100,000 in Gucci goods stolen
Three hours before dawn Wednesday, a trio of cars and a U-Haul truck rolled through the darkness into a South Coast Plaza parking lot, stopping just east of a glass door leading to Bloomingdale's department store. Wearing hooded sweatshirts to hide their identities, eight to 10 people then piled out of the vehicles, smashed through the glass and - bypassing products from Tory Burch and Burberry and even diamond necklaces - stocked up on Gucci purses, expensive watches and jewelry. After about five minutes, police said, the crew got back in their vehicles carrying bags filled with about $100,000 worth of accessories before fleeing into the night. South Coast Plaza security officers followed the U-Haul for a short time as it drove out of the parking lot, said Costa Mesa Police Lt. Greg Scott. Police believe the bandits made their escape northbound on the 405 freeway.

Millburn, NJ : Salvatore Ferragamo store hit for $7,150 in merchandise
On Sept. 22, police were called to the mall's Salvatore Ferragamo store on a theft report. Store personnel reported a female and male, both described as in their 20s, entered the store and the female asked to try on a pair of boots. The salesman went to the stockroom and upon returning saw both the man and woman had left. According to police, a review of the store's surveillance videotape showed the couple concealing four handbags and two belts, valued at $7,150, in a Bloomingdale's shopping bag and running out of the store.

Cottage Grove, WI: Traffic Stop leads to Felony Theft charge; nearly $3,400 in Home Depot & Woodman's merchandise recovered
A traffic stop in the Village of Cottage Grove Wednesday afternoon resulted in the recovery of thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise according to a release from the Dane County Sheriff's Office. Authorities say a deputy initiated a traffic stop for improper plates just after 2:00 p.m. They say the driver, 25-year-old Andrew Galica of Milwaukee had a suspended license. Authorities say Galica consented to a search of his vehicle. The deputy said the search of Galica's vehicle revealed a number of power tools still in the original boxes and an excessive amount of unopened bottles of alcohol. Galica admitted to stealing $2392 worth of power tools from Home Depot and $900 worth of liquor from Woodman's.

Millburn, NJ Saks Fifth Ave. at Short Hills apprehends man with $845 of cologne
Police were called to the Saks Fifth Avenue store at the mall Sept. 27 on a report of a shoplifter in custody. Saks personnel reported Derick Rollins, 56, of East Orange, was observed concealing several men's fragrances valued at $845 and leaving the store without paying. Police arrested Rollins and charged him with shoplifting. He was turned over to the Livingston Police Department on an active shoplifting warrant.

Phoenix mom caught shoplifting $250 of Legos, child found home alone
A Phoenix mother was arrested Monday after admitting to stealing $253 worth of Legos from Target. Court documents show Leigh Turner was with her 8-year-old daughter when she shoplifted the Lego products from the store. Store security was able to get her license plate number, and officers responded to the home. When they arrived they found Turner's 8-year-old daughter home by herself. After police read Turner her rights, she admitted to stealing the Legos. She also admitted to pawning them at a children's thrift store for money. Turner was arrested on shoplifting and endangerment charges.

UK: Gang of professional thieves jailed thanks to sharp eyed B&Q cashier
The three men travelled from London to the South West to carry out a series of raids on the DIY stores in which they removed toilet units from their boxes and filled them up with more valuable items. They then wheeled them through the checkout, paying just $80 for the toilet while stealing $3,000 worth of smoke alarms and Yale locks. The gang all came from Kent and South London and two of them have previously carried out identical thefts at other stores around Britain, Exeter Crown Court were told. They were part of a wider scam which is thought to have cost B&Q tens of thousands of dollars and they were caught after staff were alerted to be vigilant. They struck three times in the West Country, stealing more than $3,000 worth of goods at Launceston and fleeing empty handed at Newton Abbot when a member of staff became suspicious. They were caught when a quick witted cashier at the Exmouth branch of B&Q noticed the hand holds on the side of a large box had not been pushed in and that tape appeared to have been re-sealed.

ORC 10-1-15
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