Livingston County MI May 10 2012 Two New York men were arraigned this afternoon on felony charges alleging they stole more than $23,000 in clothing from Michigan outlet malls.
Kevin Kenny Palma, 23, and Christian Osorio, 19, remained in the Livingston County Jail on a $100,000 bond for retail fraud. They return to District Court on May 9 for an exam conference.
Livingston County sheriff’s officials said the two men and an unidentified female from Miami, Fla., stole high-end clothing from retail stores throughout the country, including Abercrombie and Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Pacific Sunwear of California, and Victoria Secrets.
When totaled, there were more than 400 clothing items, including polo shirts and women’s bras. Some of the items were stolen from the Tanger Outlet Center at Kensington Valley in Howell Township while some of the items are believed to be from malls in Birch Run and Green Oak Township.
Police also found in the luggage devices to remove the anti-theft tags on new clothing.
Investigators believe the trio has hit Tanger malls throughout the country.
Sheriff’s officials said the trio flew to Michigan Friday specifically to steal.
One store manager who happened to walk outside at the same time as the suspects was able to get a license plate number from the suspect vehicle, which sheriff’s officials were able to trace to the Alamo rental car company at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Officers learned the female suspect was supposed to return the rental vehicle at around 11 a.m. Sunday, and police were waiting.
Sheriff Bob Bezotte police believe the two New York men dropped the woman off so she could check in the five pieces of luggage. When the men returned the car to Alamo, they were taken into custody, but the woman was no where to be found.
“We believe one of the men tipped her off,” Bezotte said.
Bezotte said the luggage was flown to LaGuardia Airport in New York, but with the assistance of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Metro Detroit Airport Authority the luggage was returned and has been seized by Livingston County Sheriff’s Department.