Hempfield Township PA Sept 26 2010 Police in Mercer County made six arrests Friday in what appears to be a major theft ring.
The suspects are accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise from Wal-Mart. Police say the group was arrested after being caught in the act at a Hempfield Township Wal-Mart.
Reports say store security called police after seeing two vehicles circling the parking lot with their license plates covered up. After a chase and help from several other departments, authorities found between $25,000 and $30,000 in stolen goods inside the vehicles.
“Mainly video games, X-Box, Wii’s. Playstations, some clothing, some accessories to the Wii consoles. We have a couple TVs,” said Daniel McCloskey, Hempfield Township Police Department.
Police quickly realized they were dealing with something much bigger than just shoplifting.
“We have some suspicions to believe that this is taking place in different states actually,” said Nicholas Brevetta, assistant district attorney for Mercer County. “Some of those states including Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”
“A search warrant of the vehicles discovered a road atlas map that had five states,” McCloskey said. “In those five states, there were multiple cities highlighted. Each one of those cities included a Wal-Mart or several Wal-Marts in that city.”
Brandon Burgess, James Siebert, Forest Jennings, Jajuan Simmons, Barbara Wesley and Cara Curvin, all of Detroit, Mich., were arraigned on charges of criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and being part of a corrupt organization.
The six are being held on at least $100,000 bond in the Mercer County Jail. A hearing is set for Oct. 4.