Shoplifting duo captured with thousands in stolen goods www.privateofficer.com
Shoplifting duo captured with thousands in stolen goods http://www.privateofficer.com
Authorities think a pair of retail theft suspects arrested in western Wisconsin could also be responsible for thefts in Minnesota.
On Friday, police arrested Gisella Mejias and Leonardo Rojas-Railen who were caught with thousands of dollars worth of goods from the Oakwood Mall in Eau Claire.
Besides finding stolen items in the couple’s car police say they also found a map showing what police think were potential targets from Indiana to Minnesota.
Authorities say the two used technology and distraction to get past security.
“They were also able to fashion secret compartments to hide merchandise in so that the clerks can’t tell they have anything inside the bags,” said Detective Sgt. Andrew Falk of the Eau Claire Police Department.
Police say the suspects sent their loot by Fed-Ex to an address in Los Angeles.
The two are charged with felony possession of stolen property.
Investigators are also looking into whether the couple may be behind a $1,500 theft from the Hollister store in the Eden Prairie Mall.
Eau Claire Police busted the retail theft scam on the evening of November 7th after responding to the Oakwood Mall to a report of retail theft.
The first store hit was a Hollister store where a male and female suspect stole a large number of clothing items. Mall security along with a Hollister clerk pointed out the suspects to police and the suspects fled.
The male suspect was apprehended outside the mall and the female suspect was found hiding inside the Scheels store.
Officers located a vehicle that was rented from Midway Airport in Indiana filled with “booster bags” destined for California. “Booster bags” are bags that bear store labels and have been modified with secret compartments and security deflating device linings used for “professional level retail theft” according to a news release by Eau Claire Police.
The merchandise, with store tags still attached, was worth more than $12,000. Ledgers were also found in the vehicle indicating that the suspects had been involved in retail theft for a long period of time.
Stores affected in Eau Claire were Hollister, Express and Aeropostale.
Authorities continue to investigate whether other stores throughout the midwest may have been victimized by these suspects.
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