Charges Filed Against Ringleader of $8 Million Organized Retail Crime Scheme in California

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced the filing of charges against the ringleader of an organized retail crime scheme that operated across 21 counties in California, including Santa Clara. The scheme involved an estimated $8 million worth of beauty products. Multiple members of the organized retail crime ring have also been charged.

Bonta emphasized the significant financial and safety implications of organized retail crime for businesses, retailers, and consumers. He stated that such criminal activity will not be tolerated in California and highlighted his commitment to actively pursuing and bringing to justice those who violate the law. Bonta emphasized that ending crime requires a collective effort.

The investigation into this audacious instance of organized retail theft was conducted by the California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Ulta’s Loss Prevention Organized Retail Crime team, and Sephora Representatives. According to a release from the Attorney General’s Office, the ringleader is alleged to have sold the stolen goods on her online Amazon storefront at a fraction of the retail price. She also recruited young women to enter makeup stores and commit bulk thefts of specific high-demand makeup products to supply her online store.

The suspects responsible for these thefts were captured on surveillance and have been charged in connection with the case. The thefts occurred in various counties, including Alameda, Placer, Kern, Contra Costa, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, Riverside, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Napa, Marin, Tulare, San Bernardino, Sonoma, Ventura, and Yolo.

During a search of the ringleader’s residence, officials discovered large quantities of makeup products stored, organized, and prepared for shipping, still in their original packaging. Ulta and Sephora retailers assisted in conducting an inventory of approximately $400,000 worth of recovered products during recent searches.

The nationwide loss resulting from this multi-year theft operation is estimated to exceed $7.8 million. California Highway Patrol Commissioner Sean Duryee highlighted the importance of the strong partnership between law enforcement, prosecutors, and retailers in combating organized retail crime. He emphasized that collaboration is crucial in identifying solutions, sharing best practices, and gathering actionable intelligence. Duryee cited this case as a prime example of such collaboration leading to justice.

Author: CrimeDoor

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