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ORC 10-2-15




New ORC Effort Makes the Press: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD): New police unit focused on retail theft, hopes to ID habitual offenders
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) says it has a new way of catching these thieves and making sure they get more than a slap on the wrist.

CMPD says there have been 3,600 cases of retail theft this year. They solved and closed 90% of the cases where the items stolen are worth less than $100. And they are working to improve their 79% rate for cases where the items stolen are worth more than $100.

Detectives say there's a difference between shoplifters and boosters, who are getting money to fuel their addiction. Based on my investigation into a lot of boosting and the organized retail crime the majority of people we arrest have a serious heroin problem," Blee said. Blee is part of CMPD's retail theft unit.
The newly formed unit met Thursday with loss prevention folks from all different stores, who are the victims in these cases. "We'll have them where they'll pick up two at a time and walk out the door with them," said Alan Buck of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Buck says there are 500 members locally of an organization called Carolina's Organized Retail Crime Alliance (CORCA). Buck says the creation of a Carolinas intranet site for stores and police has already helped him.
I've had cases where I've posted on there and I'll get hits from Durham, where they've arrested these people," Buck said. When a theft happens, someone can post a pic of the suspect and others are alerted. "Within an hour he had responses back from other retailers that were able to help him identify that individual," said Captain Allan Rutledge of CMPD.

Rutledge said they've always worked with stores, but this shows they are dedicated to stopping the sophisticated and organized thieves.

"We want the criminals out there stealing these items to know that they not only have to be concerned about the police department, they need to be concerned about the eyes and ears inside the store," Rutledge said.

Beachwood, OH: Smash & Grab over $300K in items from Saks Fifth Ave. - Gang tied to Chicago and maybe other cities
Video has been released of a showing a stunning smash-and-grab involving a dozen suspects stealing $300,000 in designer purses from the Saks Fifth Avenue at Beachwood Place mall. The burglary happened while the store was closed at around 5 a.m. on September 18. The video shows a stolen Jeep crashing into the front doors of the store. Police said four people were inside the vehicle, and then eight others run into the store, including some in masks. Moments later, the suspects ran out of the store with stolen purses in tow. Some jumped into a getaway car, with all suspects gone within a minute, along with the valuable purses.

Albuquerque, NM: Organized Check Fraud Ring hit
area Retailers for over $60,000
The Gomez family hasn't been using its kitchen just for cooking. The family has been running a large, organized check fraud ring that has defrauded dozens of Albuquerque residents, stolen the identities of more than 100 people and netted the family and its associates $60,000 in profit, police say. Police say they spent three months investigating the ringleader, Carlos Epimeno Gomez III, 33. When they executed a search warrant at his home Wednesday, they found that the kitchen was full of printers to print checks. They also found a binder full of stolen driver's licenses, Social Security cards and credit cards, reams of check stock paper, blank laminated cards to forge IDs, notary stamps and a credit card skimmer. They found similar items in another suspect's car, along with antifreeze - used to wash ink from checks.

Casa Grande, AZ: High Dollar Retail Theft investigation
leads to child-pornography charges
A Casa Grande man under investigation in a high-dollar retail theft case has been indicted on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after police say they found child pornography on his cellphone. Alejandro Quintanar, 26, was initially accused of stealing expensive electronic merchandise from Target and Walmart in early September, according to the Casa Grande Police Department. Quintanar was arrested Sept. 17 on suspicion of theft but was not booked into jail due to a medical issue, according to the department. Quintanar's cellphone was withheld for evidence relating to the retail-theft case. Casa Grande police were able to obtain evidence about the thefts from Quintanar's cellphone, and 50 images and videos depicting child pornography, according to the department's post. He was indicted Wednesday evening in Pinal County Superior Court.

Lexington, KY: Second Suspect Named In Multi-State Victoria's Secret Shoplifting Ring
Police have released the name of a second person they are looking for in the continuing case of the Victoria's Secret merchandise heists. Lexington Police were able to identify and lock up the alleged ringleader of a group accused of ripping off merchandise from multiple Victoria's Secret stores. They took around $4,000 of the merchandise from the Hamburg Victoria's Secret location earlier this year. It only took them a matter of seconds for them to wipe out the entire display. Tips from people reporting to Crime Stoppers led police to Brionna Earts of Ferguson, Missouri. Earts is the alleged ring leader of the group. She is now locked up and her business of selling the stolen goods on her Instagram account is over, but that didn't stop the rest of the group. Police have identified one woman as Tiffany Reed, they believe she is one of the women from the surveillance video in Lexington.

Lexington, KY: Police Looking For Possible Serial Cigarette Thief
Lexington police are looking for what they think is a serial cigarette thief. Surveillance video shows the suspect is covered head to toe and is pretty confident. "If you notice in the video, the lights are on. He's doing this with lights on which tells us he's extremely motivated. Police have linked him to at least two cases of stealing cigarettes from businesses. They believe that he is probably behind more. "He's going up to the window and using some kind of tool to pull the glazing from the window. This isn't the typical "take a rock and throw it at the window" type of guy," said Police. The suspect always brings a duffel bag or a garbage bag and fills it with cigarettes. "You can imagine at $30 a carton, this adds up pretty quick. We're looking at $3000-5000," said Police.

Silver Creek, GA: Man reportedly pawned $1800 worth of stolen tools for $150

Office Max employee walks out of investigation into an $1,800 American Express gift cards

ORC 10-2-15
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