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ORC 11-12-15




'PRC' Report

Organized Retail Crime's Publicly Reported Cases Report

*2015 data only through September 30th

U.S. Attorney: Burris family was face of organized crime in Evansville -
Busted - Had ORC Ring operating 20 years ago
Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin says the Burris family created a sophisticated retail theft ring, 20 years ago. They had an organized crime ring...that was stealing," he said. "They intimidated people. They bullied people."

It's being called the largest white-collar crime ring in the Tri-State. Prosecutors say 36 people were involved in an elaborate scheme to defraud insurance companies. They are accused of staging car wrecks and filing claims for "injuries" suffered. We're told 34 of the 36 suspects are now in custody. The Burris family is the face of organized crime in the Evansville, Indiana area," said U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler.

Federal Grand Jury indicts four in $134,000 Oklahoma City
check counterfeiting scheme
An Oklahoma City counterfeit check ring defrauded Oklahoma City metro area stores out of more than $100,000, a federal grand jury indictment claims. The indictment claims Marjorie Elaine Lodes, Daniel Charles Lodes, Mechelle Lee Ashcraft, and Belinda Sonya Shelton, defrauded retailers out of about $134,535.06 through the scheme. According to the indictment, Marjorie Lodes and Shelton traveled to Nebraska to steal mail from residential mail boxes and used bank account information from the stolen mail to make counterfeit checks that were then passed at local stores. The group used custom check-writing software to print the counterfeit checks and also made fake driver's licenses with their own photographs, but with the personal information matching the account holder information on the fraudulent checks, according to the indictment. The four allegedly passed the counterfeit checks from Bank of Oklahoma, Tinker Federal Credit Union, MidFirst Bank, and US Bank at stores including Walmart, Harbor Freight, Kohls and Walgreens. "The co-conspirators often returned the merchandise to the retailers in exchange for cash and store credit," the indictment claims.

Calgary, AB, CN: Police charge 2 Seniors in connection with alleged Steal-to-Order ring; $56,000 of items recovered
A retailer who spotted some of their merchandise being sold at a local flea market tipped off police, who have laid charges against two people in connection with the stolen goods. Police responded to the initial complaint by visiting the flea market, which was being held at the Hillhurst Community Association hall on Oct. 25, and spotted a vendor selling clothing and toiletries that appeared to be new and possibly stolen. Information gathered by investigators led them to a property where they executed a search warrant on the residence and a van at the address on Oct. 28. Officers found stolen clothing, toiletry items and camping equipment worth an estimated $56,000 during their search. Police believe the items had been stolen from local retailers for the purpose of illegally reselling them. Sonia Kereluk, 75 and William Henry Fisher, 69, both of Calgary have been charged with possession of stolen property for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking in stolen property.

Milford, DE: Two accused of stealing $31k merchandise from Goodwill
Two Milford women are facing charges, after Police say they used fake pre-paid credit cards to buy more than $30,000 worth of merchandise. The Milford Police Department says on Tuesday they wrapped up a retail theft investigation with two arrests. Twenty three-year-old Danita Legrand, and 30-year-old Aishia Legrand, are accused of using fraudulent pre-paid credit cards to make purchases from the Goodwill store, in April and May, totaling more than $31,000. Police say the pre-paid cards initially appeared to have the funds for the transaction, but when Goodwill tried to pull the funds from the account, no funds were available, making the pre-paid cards invalid.

Spartanburg, SC: Police searching for suspect in over $20,000 jewelry thefts from 2 area Belk stores
The Spartanburg Police Department said they were searching for a man who shoplifted more than 15 rings from two Belk stores. Police said a man wearing a camouflage jacket and a baseball hat driving a red pickup truck entered the Belk at Westgate Mall on Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. The suspect asked to see a diamond ring, and when the associate showed him one, he told them that he was looking for something for expensive. The associate then turned to grab more rings and the suspect grabbed the tray of rings and ran out the door. The suspect jumped into his truck and fled. Eleven rings were taken. The same suspect was seen last Wednesday in Myrtle Beach at another Belk store after he shoplifted five rings. The total value of rings taken in the Spartanburg theft was $19,775.

Wilkes-Barre, PA: Macy's at Wyoming Valley Mall hit with $2,000 theft of Michal Kors and North Face apparel
Police say someone took $2,000 worth of merchandise from a Macy's department store in Luzerne County. The theft happened on Monday evening at the store in the Wyoming Valley Mall near Wilkes-Barre. Store security told police two women and a man swiped several Michael Kors and North Face sweaters and jackets. Police are using video from surveillance cameras that caught the thieves running from the store.

Cottage Grove, MN: Two arrested in connection with $1,800 Kohl's clothing theft Two Minneapolis residents face possible felony charges in connection with an alleged theft Oct. 31 at Kohl's. Chrishellyn C.Washington, 26, was arrested on suspicion of felony theft and fleeing from police. Jonathan M. Ondieki, 24, was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting felony theft. Both were booked at the Washington County jail. Police were called to the store about 4 p.m. on a reported theft in progress. Officers saw Washington exiting the store with $1,856 worth of merchandise. She ran and got into a car driven by Ondieki, according to the police report. Ondieki was ordered by police to stop. Both were then arrested.

Calgary, AB, CN: Six month investigation ends with 4 arrested in Organized Credit Card Fraud scheme
The Calgary Police Economic Crimes Unit has laid charges against four people accused of using stolen credit card data to commit identify fraud. Acting on reports of numerous frauds to obtain merchandise, pre-paid credit cards, and vehicles from rental companies, police initiated an in-depth investigation which has since resulted in the arrests of four people. On October 22, police at the Calgary International Airport were alerted to a group of three people who were attempting to rent a vehicle with a fraudulent credit card. When the individuals were caught and searched, police found forged credit cards, government-issued ID, and altered cards. Last week police were led to a home in Midnapore where they found counterfeiting equipment, more credit cards, some meth, a handgun and a stolen vehicle. There was also a significant amount of stolen property and $1,063 in cash found.

Deland, FL: Belks Loss Prevention nab Mother and child
shoplifters with $700 in merchandise
A DeLand woman was arrested after police said she had a child helping her shoplift from a department store. Erica Bruten, 40, was charged with felony retail theft and child neglect without great harm Tuesday after she stole over $700 in clothing from Belks. Court records show Bruten has been charged in the past in similar crime.

Gonzales, TX: Thieves use Walmart emergency exit to take $400 in merchandise Police are investigating a pair of thefts that occurred at Walmart in recent weeks. Video showed two men exit a red car and enter the store, taking sporting goods items and filling a shopping cart. Exiting the Sporting Goods area through an Emergency Door. The items included, tools, clothing, electronics and a 22" television set.

Surprise, AZ: Police seeking suspect in Lowe's power tools thefts
Surprise police are looking for a shoplifting suspect who targeted a Lowe's store in the area. A store representative says a Hispanic man with a mustache removed several large power tools from the store at Grand Avenue and Bell Road on Nov. 9.

Costa Rica cops take down organized fraud ring that stole $1 million

ORC 11-12-15
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