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Tigard, OR: Police seize $750,000 of fraudulently purchased iPhones
Officials say they seized nearly 500 iPhones that were purchased with fraudulent gift cards at Washington Square Mall earlier this month. A detective noticed a man buying large quantities of merchandise at the Apple Store on Dec. 4 using stacks of gift cards -- a sign of organized retail crime, police say. The suspect was then seen loading up a trunk already filled with Apple shopping bags. Police followed the driver of the car, pulled him over, and found 470 iPhones (worth about $292,000) in the car. Earlier, police say the suspects dropped off several boxes filled with iPhones at a local FedEx, with the intent to ship them to Hong Kong. In total, police say the suspects' fraudulent purchases totaled $750,000. Police say the suspects had also fraudulently purchased iPhones at Bridgeport Village, and that the gift card purchases are linked to counterfeit credit cards with origins in southern California.

Port St. Lucie, FL: Man accused of shoplifting Star Wars toy at Walmart
A Star Wars fan went from the store to jail after trying to add to his collection using the 5-finger discount. Port St. Lucie police arrested Genaro Jimenez at the Walmart on US Highway 1 Monday evening. A loss prevention worker told police he saw Jimenez return a Star Wars figure for a refund, then head back to the toy section, pull the same $99 toy off the shelf and walk out the store.

San Carlos, CA: Four arrested after shoplifting, scuffle at Home Depot
Four people suspected of conspiring to shoplift at a Home Depot store in San Carlos on Monday were arrested following a scuffle, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's deputies responded to a call regarding a fight between a suspect and store security at about 8:45 p.m. Monday at the Home Depot. Deputies discovered that the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Gregory Stoft, had allegedly been shoplifting merchandise when a security guard stopped him. Stoft was apparently taking items to a vehicle parked outside with three other suspects. When confronted by store security, Stoft handed over stolen merchandise when the security guard said a surveillance camera captured him stealing it. However, he then allegedly assaulted the security guard in an attempt to get away, but was ultimately detained after a brief struggle. The other three suspects left the store's parking lot in their vehicle, which was stopped later by sheriff's deputies.

Lake Havasu, AZ: Police said a Lake Havasu City woman was charged with felony shoplifting after she was caught shoplifting last week and her criminal history revealed her to have 11 previous cases of shoplifting and organized retail theft
A Wal-Mart employee told police he saw Alina Click, 23, put a pair of red shoes in her bag on Friday. Click was not allowed back in Wal-Mart because of a prior shoplifting case, police said. Click denied stealing anything but police found the shoes and other clothing items with the tags on them in her possession.

Eureka, CA: Kia-Driving Couple Currently on Mass Shoplifting Spree
The Eureka Police Department has updated its warning to area shopkeepers in light of new information, and has published some security camera stills as well. Long story short: Police now believe that this crew includes two women and a man traveling in the same Kia, round-robin hitting the stores in question. Updated information and security cam photos from the EPD: In the last hour we have had 3 reports of a male and two females entering local stores and stealing large amounts of clothing. Suspects are reportedly driving a black Kia Forte CA plate. The three suspects haven't all entered each location.

Minnesota: Organized Crime Prevention Group in Twin Cities Targets Holiday Season Theft
A fairly new collaboration between local businesses and law enforcement is paying off during the holiday shopping season, according to the group. The Twin Cities Organized Retail Crime Association is a network of retail businesses and law enforcement who share intelligence with an online, real-time alert system. The shared information is meant to help partners identify trending theft techniques, as well as the suspects. Maple Grove Police Captain Adam Lindquist said the number of thefts has increased with the city's booming retail areas. It's why the department is an active member in TCORCA. "This allows us the opportunity to really focus on individuals who are really making their passion or hobby, or even a career out of theft," Lindquist said.

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