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ORC 4-5-16




CC Fraud Ring member pleads guilty - hitting stores in western NY
for over $300K
A western New York, Buffalo, woman has pleaded guilty for her role in an identity theft ring that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars through unauthorized credit card charges. The U.S. attorney's office says 27-year-old Danielle Hamilton of Cheektowaga pleaded guilty in federal court in Buffalo to conspiring to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft

Prosecutors say Hamilton was part of a ring that traveled to retail stores in western New York and Pennsylvania and used unauthorized credit cards obtained through identity theft. Authorities say the group used the cards to purchase $500 store gift cards and other merchandize totaling more than $300,000 between October 2013 and January 2014.

Florida CC Fraud Trio arrested in South Carolina running a gift card theft scheme
Investigators said the three were arrested March 31 after going to Home Depot on Two Notch Road and buying four gift cards totaling $400 using stolen credit card information and cloned cards. They then left that store and went to another Home Depot on 5200 Fernandina Road, where they attempted to purchase more gift cards with the cloned cards before being arrested. 

Sheriff Leon Lott said the team drove from Tampa, Fla., "for the sole purpose of committing the crimes in Richland County." Lott said that additional gift cards, stolen credit cards and credit card information were found in the vehicle the three were operating. Middleton, Dickerson and Peterson were taken to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Vacaville, CA: Vacaville suspect had 111 fake credit cards
Police recovered a whopping 111 fake credit cards on a suspect Monday afternoon. An employee for the Vacaville factory outlets led police to the suspect, 24-year-old Justin Knighten of San Francisco. Knighten was attempting to use one of his fake credit cards to purchase $600 in gift cards, which alerted the staffer that something was off. Police caught up with Knighten in the parking lot and he tried escaping arrest in a stolen car, according to police. Officers found merchandise, believed to have been fraudulently purchased, and the 111 credit cards in various names.

Theft Ring Busted at Tysons Corner Center; Police seized more than $76,000 in property
Police reported Tuesday that they have busted up a theft ring operating at Tysons Corner Center shopping center. On Friday, March 25, at approximately 8:30 p.m., the police department's Tyson's Urban Team (TUT) was notified by store security at Lord & Taylor of suspicious activity, police said. Store security informed TUT that a male and two female suspects involved in a retail theft ring were currently in their store. The suspects exited the store and attempted to flee in a vehicle, but were detained in the parking lot, according to police. TUT officers located stolen merchandise along with tools geared to defeat the store security systems. Police say the team was captured "due to the excellent teamwork between the store security teams at Tyson's Corner Center and the TUT" and that more than $76,000 worth of property was seized from the retail theft ring.

ORC Duo arrested hitting Home Depots in Detroit area
Utica Police Chief David Faber said drug addiction motivated a couple to steal from at least seven Home Depot locations in the metro Detroit area. On March 10, a Home Depot corporate investigator told Utica police that the suspects had stolen merchandise from Home Depots in Warren, Roseville, Utica, Burton, Southfield, Madison Heights and Farmington Hills.

At approximately 12:45 p.m. March 9, Utica police arrested a 34-year-old Rochester man and a 31-year-old Hazel Park woman after they allegedly stole power tools, strong-armed a loss prevention officer at the Home Depot in Utica, and fled in a reportedly stolen vehicle. Both had multiple warrants out for their arrest, and the man was listed as a parole absconder, according to the police report.

The investigator said the male suspect fought with and overpowered loss prevention officers in Utica, Roseville and Madison Heights.

"With the opioid epidemic, a lot more people are addicted to it," Faber said. "What they do to fund their habits is they steal things, so with the increase in the use of opioids is the increase in larceny-type crimes."

ORC female Duo busted with foil lined purse hitting Belk's in Salisbury, N.C.
Salisbury Police charged two Winston-Salem women with stealing $781 worth of clothing, perfume and other items from Belk on Saturday. The store's loss prevention officer said someone was taking pictures of the merchandise just before the women placed items inside their purses.

Mitchell and Fisher are accused of taking Dior and Versace perfume, as well as Polo and Nautica shirts, among other items. Fisher had a purse lined with aluminum foil and duct tape. Fisher was convicted in 2015 of felony credit card theft, for which she is on probation. She's also been convicted of possession of stolen goods, credit card theft, larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Deputies suspect man stole over 30 new vacuums
West Palm Beach man stole brand new vacuum cleaners from local businesses, and sucked up the profits when he sold them to pawn shops, deputies said. Cley Hudson, 29, was arrested on Saturday on the charge of grand theft. According to an arrest report, Hudson was entering large local retail stores such as Lowe's and Target, taking new Dyson vacuum cleaners and leaving the stores without paying. Hudson entered multiple stories since October in West Palm Beach and Stuart, the report said. In one instance, he walked out with the vacuum - valued at about $400 - and told the cashier he didn't have a receipt because it was a return.

Decatur, IL: Serial DVD Thieves arrested at Walmart
Two alleged female serial DVD thieves, who stole merchandise by the shopping cartful, were arrested Friday by police after trying to walk out of a Decatur Walmart with 43 DVDs and other items worth more than $800. Sworn police statements say the Decatur women, aged 41 and 33, were jailed on preliminary charges of two counts of burglary; Walmart claims they've also been caught on surveillance video in several previous thefts.

Twin Falls, ID: A woman was charged with burglary, pulling refund scam at Lowes
Goldie Marie Paz, 39, was facing charges of felony burglary, following a January incident. Her preliminary hearing is set for April 8. On Jan. 24 Paz entered Lowe's Home Improvement store in Twin Falls. Over the next two-and a half hours Paz shops the store and loads up two shopping carts with more than $1,000 worth of merchandise. She buys the merchandise using a relative's debit card. Lowe's employees help Paz load the items into the back of her truck. At about 4:23 p.m., Paz reenters the store, empty handed and re-selects the same items she purchased earlier. Paz proceeded to the customer service/return area, presents the previous receipts and completes the fraudulent return for $781.22.

Laconia, NH: Serial shoplifter identified by tattoos; sentenced to prison
under the three strikes theft rule
Paul E. Haskell IV, 30 appeared in Court on Monday, and apologized for his criminal conduct. He told the judge his girlfriend was pregnant, that he wanted to be a father, a protective member of society and "not do bad things anymore." Under the terms of a negotiated settlement, Haskell was sentenced to one to two years in prison, with six months of the minimum suspended on three years good behavior, to be served concurrent with his current parole setback. He was credited with 27 days of pretrial confinement, and ordered to pay $60.83 in restitution, plus 17 percent statutory administrative fee to Wal-Mart through the New Hampshire Department of Corrections. Haskell has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for felony theft in Merrimack and Grafton Counties.

Hazle Township, PA: A man is facing charges after an incident involving retail theft at Wal-Mart on March 31 led to police finding that multiple agencies were looking for him on similar charges
Police say Thomas Bilsak, 27, of Hazle Township stole $189.74 worth of merchandise at 5:30 p.m. During their investigation police found that Bilsak was wanted by several agencies in Schuylkill County and allegedly stole items from the same Wal-Mart at 1:11 p.m. and 2:34 p.m. on March 28.

Leslie Gaylor Mention Jr., 43, of Detroit, was sentenced to one year in the county jail for organized retail crime and retail fraud; he was given credit for serving 50 days and ordered to pay more than $2,000 in restitution

ORC 4-5-16
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