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ORC 3-3-16




Home Depot LP ID's Fencing Operation
Fencing Operation: Lakewood, Wash., thrift store 'Thrift - T' sold stolen goods

Investigators busted Thrift-T, located at 9622 40th Ave SW, on February 18th, after being tipped off that the store was selling stolen items. Inside, they recovered more than $150,000 worth of stuff, from power tools to toys and car parts to clothing.

Detectives were first tipped off by the Home Depot in Gig Harbor, Lawler said. Loss prevention workers at the store believed an organized theft ring was responsible for roughly $100,000 in stolen items in the South Puget Sound. Employees tracked the goods to the Lakewood shop, police said. Officers set up a sting, selling high-priced power tools to the store on two separate occasions -- with the security tags still intact.

Online" (Pawn/Second Hand reporting program) and found "Thrift-T" was purchasing large qualities of new items from individuals. After purchasing the items, "Thrift-T" would sell the items on EBay.  Further investigation found that the individuals selling the items had criminal history for shoplifting and theft.

Home Depot donated over $1200 in brand new merchandise to the Lakewood Police Department Property Crimes/Robbery Unit to assist in the investigation. Undercover officers from the Lakewood PD sold these items to "Thrift-T" on two consecutive days. Some of these items had the security devices still attached to them.

The Lakewood Police Department Property Crimes/Robbery Unit served a search warrant on the business (02-18-16 to 02-19-16) over the course of two days and recovered several items. A large quantity of security devices that were removed from items were located in the trash at the business. A total of 2500+ items were seized valued at approximately $150,000-$200,000. Victims include Home Depot, Lowes, Fred Meyer, Target, Kohls and several more unidentified retailers. Some of the items recovered included miscellaneous power tools, beauty supplies, vitamins, household products, personal hygiene products, toys, electronics, sporting goods, arts, clothing, automotive parts, musical items, home improvement item, hand tools and pet supplies.

Authorities arrested the store owner, Timothy Tull, for first degree trafficking in stolen property. During the raid, police found more than 90 security tags in the store dumpster, Lawler said. Lawler said additional arrests are likely. Officers are currently going through records the shop kept, which proves how crucial a citywide pawn shop database can be, he said.

This release was delayed to facilitate additional investigation into the business and the subjects suspected of selling the stolen property.

Three 'Ghanaian gang' members arrested on suspicion of 500,000 pound credit card fraud in UK
Three people believed to be part of a Ghanaian gang have been arrested on suspicion of using fraudulent credit cards to fund a half-a-million pound spending spree on Rolex watches, top-of-the-range computers and fine dining. Two men, aged 34 and 35, and a woman, 34, were arrested in Croydon during dawn raids by City of London Police fraud squad this morning. They have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering in Croydon and Beckenham.

Detectives believe the gang was running an elaborate identity fraud using fake passports and driving licenses to create fraudulent utility bills to buy companies that were already registered and apply for ban accounts and corporate credit cards for limits up to L400,000 pounds.

West Des Moines Man Convicted on Multiple Charges Involving Multi-State Organized Retail Theft Scheme, Child Pornography and Witness
On March 1, 2016, a jury in the Southern District of Iowa convicted Bradley J. Prucha, 38, of West Des Moines, Iowa, on multiple counts from an organized retail theft scheme, child pornography, and witness tampering.

From around October 2013 through May 2015, Prucha led a scheme to purchase items from various retailers using UPC bar code stickers that Prucha created. Prucha used these stickers, and provided these stickers to others, to purchase items at significantly lower costs than their actual retail value. These purchases occurred at stores from Iowa to Florida, where Prucha maintained a residence, as well as states surrounding Iowa such as Nebraska and Illinois. Prucha returned the items to stores, or sold them using eBay, Craigslist, and to direct buyers, for close to their actual retail value. Some of the individuals Prucha used to perpetrate this scheme included minors. Prucha was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit interstate sale and receipt of stolen property and mail fraud, as well as six counts of mail fraud, for his role in this scheme.

Baltimore, MD: Conspirator in CC Fraud Gang of Five in Counterfeit Credit Card Scheme Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Zachary O'Brien, age 31, of Bronx, New York, today to four years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft arising from a scheme to use counterfeit credit cards to purchase merchandise.

According to his plea, from February 2014, through October 2014, O'Brien conspired with his co-defendants, Jerry Anderson, Steven Harris, Marquis Johnson, and Steven Tejeda, as well as others, to use stolen credit card and other personal information of customers of victim financial institutions to purchase items, including Apple iPhones, at retail locations in Maryland and elsewhere.

Credit Fraud Ring of four operating in Greensboro, N.C. - 6 Police agencies are searching for them
About six law enforcement agencies in the Triad are tracking four people linked to a credit card fraud ring in the area. Three men and a woman are believed to have used stolen credit card information to buy gift cards and other items at several discount department stores, said Detective R.D. Seals with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office.

The four people are between the ages of 25 and 35 years old, drive different large SUVs, including one that's silver and one that's black. They are possibly a a Chevy Tahoe. The sheriff's office said it is investigating three cases. However, the Greensboro and High Point police departments are also investigating cases, as are law enforcement agencies in Randleman, Siler City and Forsyth and Randolph counties.

The sheriff's office asks anyone with information regarding this case to call Detective R.D. Seals at (336) 641-2683 or Crime Stoppers at (336) 373-1000.

New Yorkers charged in three-state credit card theft ring targeting Cleveland-area Giant Eagle stores
Two men are charged in a credit card theft ring that operated in Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania and defrauded Northeast Ohio businesses of more than $150,000," according to prosecutors." Brook Park police arrested Rondon Bernard and Raymond Caballero, of New York state last month on wire fraud charges and identity theft. The men had 25 different credit cards numbers, most associated with Toronto Dominion Bank, according to police.

The men used the stolen credit card numbers to buy gift cards at Giant Eagle and Get Go stores in three states and at least three Northeast Ohio Communities, court records say. The men stole at least $150,000 in Northeast Ohio, which included over $9,000 in purchases at the Giant Eagle supermarket in North Olmsted, according to police Sgt. Bob Wagner.

Communities in Ohio, New York and western Pennsylvania have reported finding credit card skimmers on gas pumps that can steal and transmit credit card data.

Bethlehem Twp, PA: Pair charged in appliance thefts
from Boscov's and Wal-Mart
Police charged a couple formerly from West Easton on Wednesday for allegedly stealing kitchen appliances from stores in Palmer and Bethlehem townships. The scheme hit Boscov's in the Palmer Park Mall on Jan. 8, 14 and 15 and Wal-Mart on Nazareth Pike in Bethlehem Township on Feb. 12. In the thefts from the mall in Palmer Township, township police got onto the pair's trail after responding Jan. 15 to Boscov's to talk with security about a man and woman, later identified as Ramos and Forrester, walking past all points of purchase with two $349.99 Kitchen Aid mixers in a shopping cart, records say. They allegedly left both behind when confronted by security and fled in a burgundy Saturn sedan registered to a Wilson Borough woman.

Hatfield, PA: 'Felony Lane Gang' Member Busted In Hatfield After Manhunt
"Felony Lane Gang" member has been arrested after a seven-day manhunt, according to reports. Sarah Ruth Langlitz, 32, of Fort Lauderdale, is allegedly a part of the national crime group that focuses on robbery and identify theft, reports state. She is allegedly connected to the same group that smashed into several cop cars during a police chase on Tuesday afternoon. Langlitz was allegedly involved with stealing money from KinderCare, The Upper Gwynedd Child Learning Center and the Chesterbrook Academy.

Serial shoplifter hitting Kroger and Walmart to support his drug habit faces felony burglary charges in Toledo, OH

Chicago, IL: 3 charged in booze-fencing ring run from West Side liquor store

Jackson, TN: Woman accused in $2,321 Wal-Mart theft; said she had a receipt

ORC 3-3-16
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