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ORC 3-31-16




Fencing Operator Gets Prison: Owner of JT's Buy and Sell shop in Lebanon sentenced to year in state prison for ORC
The operator of the now-closed JT's Buy and Sell shop in downtown Lebanon will serve a minimum of nearly a year in state prison for his involvement in a ring that bought and sold merchandise stolen from area retailers. Judge Charles T. Jones Jr. on Wednesday sentenced Larry A. Jones to 11 months to five years on charges of corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, violating the Pawnbrokers License Act, organized retail theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy and prohibited offensive weapons

The charges were filed after a 15-month investigation by the Lebanon County Drug Task Force. The judge also ordered Jones to pay fines totaling $4,500 and restitution of $5,732 to Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Nichole Eisenhart, assistant district attorney, said a significant amount of the items that police inventoried had been stolen. When police executed a search warrant at the store and a warehouse that Jones used, they found new merchandise that had stolen from area retailers, Eisenhart said. People addicted to drugs went into area stores, stole items and sold them at Jones' store to get money to buy their drugs, Eisenhart said.

Law enforcement became aware of the ring after police arrested a woman on shoplifting charges. During a search of her vehicle, police found a handwritten list of items, including specific model numbers. The woman told police that she had been given the list by an employee at JT's Buy and Sell and was told she would get more items from the buy and sell store for items on the list.

Dwaine Wike, 39, of 543 Maple St., Lebanon, a former employee of the store, was charged with corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, organized retail theft and receiving stolen property, conspiracy, persons not to possess a firearm, and a violation of the Pawnbroker's License Act. He pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced May 25.

$500,000 Major CC Fraud Gang Busted in Atlanta hitting Best Buy Stores
Atlanta police have broken up a major credit card fraud operation totaling more than half a million dollars. Investigators found nearly 400 fake credit cards inside an apartment along with multiple card-making machines.

Detective Stapler says when he and the first responding Atlanta police officer walked inside Shaunice Graham and Marvin Cato's southeast Atlanta apartment, they knew they had just discovered a major fraudulent credit card operation. I think I counted about 366 fraudulent credit cards, all forgeries, that they probably made right there in the apartment," said Stapler.

"We found out that these numbers were issued from banks all over the world. It appears that they were getting these stolen credit card numbers from a website then downloading them and encoding the credit cards with the numbers," said Stapler.

According to the police report, detectives say the couple would go to Best Buy and buy computers with the fake credit cards then come back, return the computers for Best Buy gift cards which they found all over the apartment. "We recovered $330,000 of computers out of the apartment that day," said Stapler.

CC Fraud Gang of Four Busted Planning Menards Hit in Chicago Area
Morton Grove Police Commander Paul Yaras said the four men were carrying out a plan to open fraudulent lines of credit to buy expensive home improvement tools prior to their arrest March 5 at the Menards store in Morton Grove, where police found fake identification cards and credit cards in the names of the victims.
The men allegedly admitted to police they had obtained the fake documents from someone on the south side who met them in a basement a few days prior to their arrest. They were given a list of high-priced items and were instructed to go to retail stores to use instant lines of credit opened under victim's names, police said. They then planned to resell the items and use the money to buy heroin, according to statements two of the offenders made to police.

Arrested in the theft ring were Bobby Gordan, 60, of the 300 block of North Keystone Avenue, Chicago; Earl Stanley Rawls, 61, of the 9000 block of South Princeton Avenue, Chicago; Jesse Richard Thomas 51, of the 3200 block of North 171st Place, Hammond, Ind.; and Brian Washburn, 42, of the 4200 block of West Monroe Avenue, River Grove.

CC Fraud Gang of 4 Busted in Calhoun County, MI., With 150 Cloned Cards
Deputies say they arrested four people after finding more than 150 stolen or cloned credit cards. On Wednesday, Calhoun County sheriff's deputies received a report of a possible credit card fraud near Marshall.

Deputies found the suspect vehicle with four occupants from the Chicago area. After searching the vehicle, deputies found more than 150 stolen or cloned credit cards from foreign countries, several thousands of dollars in cash and more than 60 cartons of cigarettes.

Portland, OR: 2 accused of stealing $30,000 in baby formula, Rogaine,
then selling items online
Two people were arrested on Tuesday after Oregon City police say they stole more than $30,000 in merchandise from several Portland-area stores over five months, then sold the items online. Jayson M. Elmore, 39, and Jaclyn R. Syth, 27, were arrested near Milwaukie, and each faces five counts of first-degree theft. They are accused of stealing and reselling dental care products, baby formula, Rogaine, antacids and other items from more than 10 Safeway and Albertsons stores between August 2015 and December 2015, according to Oregon City police Sgt. Matt Paschall. The arrests came after loss prevention workers contacted Oregon City police about the alleged thefts last November, Paschall said.

Owatonna, MN: Woman charged in February $1,300 toothbrush theft
Multi-State Theft Ring Busted
A second suspect has been charged and has missed her first court hearing in a February shoplifting noticed when a store employee spotted a suspect in other thefts around the country. Krystie Louis, 22, of Houston, Texas, is charged with felony conspiracy to commit theft and aiding and abetting theft and misdemeanor fleeing from a police officer by a means other than a motor vehicle. Louis was arrested alongside Theodore Haugland, 27, of Chicago on Feb. 6 after a Kohl's employee recognized Haugland and his vehicle from a nationwide Kohl's bulletin that described them stealing from stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Minnesota. The suspects would take a bulky, less expensive item out of its box, fill the box with smaller, more expensive items, reseal the box and put it back on the shelf, where a female accomplice would later find and purchase it. Found in the car was a box for a $20 toaster containing about $1,350 worth of electric toothbrushes.

Marshall, TX: Surveillance video released in $1,200 East Texas Optical store theft
The Marshall, Texas Police Department has released surveillance video of a theft that happened last week. Police say on Wednesday, March 23, four females entered Texas State Optical and took about $1,200 worth of merchandise.

Thibodaux, LA: Three arrested on felony theft charges; clothing to candy bars
On Monday, March 28, a Thibodaux Police were conducting a business check in when he met up with 19-year-old Jamal Westley. Westley was allegedly acting nervous when the officer saw he had multiple hats on his head, along with a body pillow and open pack of T-shirts under his arm. As the officer was checking with store personnel, Westley set off the theft prevention alarm at the door. The suspect allegedly began to evade the officer by walking at a fast pace, while another suspect, 24-year-old Damon Brown, rode an electric scooter beside him. The officer caught up to the suspects by their car which was parked by the side of the business. Police found Christy White, 25, sitting inside of the car, and discovered an active warrant for her arrest. During the investigation, police say they recovered over $730 in stolen merchandise along with suspected marijuana and legend drugs.

Corpus Christi, TX: Three Shoplifters caught stealing $700 of merchandise from Dillard's

ORC 3-31-16
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