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Arlington, VA: Feds arrest Virginia woman for unique million-dollar
handbag scheme
- buying online & returning fakes
Federal authorities arrested a Virginia woman on Thursday for a unique handbag-related scheme that targeted several major department stores and involved brands such as Gucci, Burberry and Fendi. The scheme was so prolific that at one point she was a major department store's top online customer in the entire world, an agent from Homeland Security Investigations says in court documents. For years, Praepitcha Smatsorabudh would allegedly buy high-end handbags - many costing more than $2,000 apiece - from department stores online. She would then allegedly return the bags and receive refunds in-person at stores across the country. But what she really was returning were fake handbags that she ordered from suppliers in China and Hong Kong, according to federal authorities.

Palm Beach, FL: South Florida International theft operation leads to 4 arrests - $300,000 in merchandise shipped to Columbia
On May 14, officers said a theft occurred at the Chanel located on Worth Avenue. Investigators said the women stole Chanel purses and shoes from the store and left in a van rented by Daniel Casadiego Gutierrez, a foreign national from Colombia. After locating the van, officers said they conducted surveillance on the suspects. A South Florida Task Force was able to intercept stolen merchandise that included Prada, Gucci and Burberry the suspects were attempting to ship back to Colombia. Officer said they recovered items that were stolen from other high-end stores in Palm Beach, Coral Gables and The Dolphin Mall in Miami-Dade County. Police said the four suspects shipped numerous boxes out of the country before their arrests.

Cressona, PA: 4 charged for $175K in fraudulent returns at local Agway store 
Four Pottsville residents are accused of stealing more than $175,000 from an Agway store in Cressona over a period of nearly five years. State police have charged the four suspects with stealing $175,082.11 from the Agway in Cressona between May 2, 2011, and March 7, 2016. Police said the accused entered in fraudulent product returns and used the stolen money to pay for various things, including to play the state lottery. All four face felony charges for theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception.

Home Depot employee busted in $51,000 gift card scheme
A 21-year-old Home Depot employee is accused of selling more than $50,000 in gift cards to persons using stolen credit card numbers, police said. Kevin Mitchell, of Davie, was arrested Thursday at the Davie home supply store and is charged with grand theft. Authorities say that Mitchell was caught on the store's security surveillance footage allowing a man and a woman to make fraudulent transactions to purchase gift cards. Mitchell, who has been working as a cashier for The Home Depot since March, made 18 transactions on April 30 and May 8 and 17. On those three days, the man and woman bought a total of $51,128 in gift cards and merchandise with Mitchell's help.

Rehoboth Beach, DE: Troopers Arrest Three New York Men
in Organized Retail Crime Thefts
Upon being placed into custody, the three, all from Astoria, New York, were searched and troopers located devices commonly used to defeat and remove the security devices. The vehicle was then towed to Troop 7 where a search warrant was obtained, troopers recovered 119 articles of merchandise totaling more than $3,300 from nine different stores throughout the Rehoboth area (Marshalls, Target, TJ Max, Reebok Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger Outlet, Banana Republic Outlet, Guess Outlet, American Eagle Outlet, and the Ralph Lauren Outlet).

Hallandale Beach, FL: Man charged with $100,000 theft in iPhone sale scheme
Expecting to triple her money, an investor forked over about $100,000 to a bogus businessman who instead defrauded her in Hallandale Beach. Aaron White, who lives in Texas, faces a grand theft charge in the September 2012 case. He posted $10,000 bond and has been released from jail, records show. According to a police report, White persuaded Amberleigh Clark to give him $97,000 over the course of more than a year for the purchase of Apple iPhones. He tried to prove his iPhone distribution business in the Caribbean was legitimate by showing her a contract he had with someone else he was accused of duping. White is also accused of ripping off another investor for a $75,000 deposit to purchase $581,000 iPhones which were never delivered.

East Drumore Twp., PA: Extreme RC Hobbies hit for 4 Drones valued at $3,600
Pennsylvania State Police have charged three Maryland people in connection with drone thefts in Lancaster County. The three men are accused of stealing four drones valued at $3649.66. The trio reportedly stole the drones on May 26 from Extreme RC Hobbies in East Drumore Township. Police said during the theft Day grabbed a store employee by the throat and forced him to the ground. Witnesses helped identify the suspects and the vehicle they fled the scene in, helping authorities locate the trio at a motel in Elkton.


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