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ORC 1-13-16




Pontiac, MI: Man charged with sale of $50,000 in stolen goods;
total of $409,000 sold on eBay account
A Pontiac man who stole upward of $50,000 in merchandise from a Livingston County retailer was sentenced. On Thursday, Jack Joseph Verellen Jr. was sentenced to three years of probation with the first year in the Livingston County Jail for organized retail crime. He was given credit for already serving 81 days. Authorities allege Verellen had an alpha key to remove antitheft devices from merchandise and that he used that device to steal property from Livingston County Meijer stores throughout the summer and fall. Assistant Prosecutor said a search warrant was executed at Verellen's home, and officers found numerous computers and printers that he used to created UPC codes. Investigators estimated Verellen stole upward of $50,000 from three different Meijer stores over a 10-year period. Further investigation revealed Verellen sold the stolen goods online and that in an eBay account he had $409,000. Defense attorney Robert Gardella said $250,000 of his client's account was not from stolen goods.

Saginaw, MI: Alert Home Depot employee details foiling alleged arson,
theft conspiracy
Kathy Marciak takes pride in her job at the Home Depot, she told a judge Tuesday, Jan. 12, in a Saginaw County courtroom. It's that pride, and her attentiveness, that helped her foil what prosecutors say was a conspiracy by Alvin B. Jenkins Sr. and Terrance A. Furline to make away with high-end equipment by setting a fire in the Kochville Township store. Marciak, 58, works as a cashier in the "pro end" of the Home Depot. In addition to assisting customers with paying for their items, she also checks the receipts of other customers leaving the store to ensure they are not leaving with items they did not pay for. She testified that her senses for that latter portion of her job were heightened Oct. 29, because during a daily morning meeting, her manager informed her and her co-workers that the day before, some individuals had set a fire in a Home Depot in Flint Township and used the distraction to steal expensive equipment.

St Petersburg, FL: Convenience store owner at center
of Million dollar Fraud Ring
Authorities say a convenience store operator is responsible for a fraud ring involving six Tampa Bay area stores and more than a million dollars in losses. The Tampa Tribune reports that Wail Mari, owner of King Food Mart, was charged Tuesday with public assistance fraud, scheme to defraud and trafficking in credit cards. St. Petersburg police say Mari bought EBT cards for 50 cents on the dollar and used them at stores to buy items for his store and others in the area. After using the cards, Mari would take them to a gas station to clear the remaining balance in exchange for cash. Police say the arrest is the result of a 15-month investigation. EBT cards are given to low-income families to buy essentials like food.

Lemoore, CA: 7-Eleven Associate tricked into handing over $680 in cash from the register; call from Corporate
Sgt. Alvaro Santos was watching the 7-Eleven from his patrol car across the street when he noticed unusual activity. He didn't know if it would turn out to be nothing or if it was an armed robbery in progress. So after the woman got out of the SUV and walked to the 7-Eleven, Santos went to speak with the driver of the car-- which was parked behind the convenience store, with its lights off. He also called for back-up. The other officer who arrived spoke with the woman inside 7-Eleven, and eventually arrested Kelly Marie Davies for being under the influence of a controlled substance. During a search, police found $680 in $20's, $10's, $5's, and $1's. Police say it was money from the 7-Eleven registers, but it wasn't a typical robbery. "We discovered that there was somebody calling into the business pretending to be from their corporate office and pretty much tricked the cashier into turning all their money over to this female," Santos said. The store clerk says she was on the phone with the man for nearly two hours. He asked her to count the cash in the registers, put it in a bag, and be prepared to give it to a woman who was coming by to pick it up. "Her name is Kathy and she's going to be coming here with two officers and just give her the money she's going to ask for three items and I'm not supposed to know what it is," the clerk said. The woman asked for three cartons of cigarettes, then got an iced coffee before being approached by the officer, who the clerk thought was part of the store audit-- it was actually a Lemoore police officer. Lemoore Police say they're working with Hanford Police about a very similar and recent burglary at the 99 Cents Only store there.

Orange, CT: Kohl's bust shoplifter with over $1,000 in merchandise
It's not easy to hide more than a $1,000 worth of clothes while trying to leave a store without paying for the merchandise. That's what 48-year-old Edna Perry, found out after she was stopped by Kohl's security outside the Bull Hill Lane store with $1,020 in clothing. without paying for it on Jan. 7. She was subsequently taken into custody and charged with fourth-degree larceny.

Barron Co, WI: Walmart repeat offender facing 7 years and fines up to $20,000

ORC 1-13-16
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