the north face cheap Alleged retail theft rings target outlet mall
Three people believed to be part of an organized shoplifting crew were charged Thursday with felony retail theft after allegedly stealing merchandise from 16 stores at Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets.
Paola Peralta, 34, and Zaida Rendon, 36, both of New York, and Yaid Rodriguez, 21, of Berwyn, Ill., were each charged with six counts of felony retail theft, one count of misdemeanor retail theft and conspiracy to conceal stolen property. They are each being held on $10,000 bond.
The group is alleged to have taken more than $19,000 in merchandise, including clothing, shoes and accessories, from stores at the outlet mall Saturday.
Although not all the retailers had signed complaints, those that did included the Gap Outlet, J Crew, The Cosmetic Company Store, Lacoste, Aeropostale, New York and Co., and Banana Republic.
Two other men originally arrested with the trio were released without charges. The men are believed to have been paid $50 to pick up the three suspects at a Gurnee, Ill., hotel, then drive them to the outlet mall, where they told the men they needed to pick up their van.
The suspects had allegedly put stolen merchandise in the van, which had Pennsylvania license plates. Police had been watching the van after being alerted by retailers.
Commissioner David Berman, in setting bond, said the suspects’ lack of ties to the area necessitated a high bond.
“There doesn’t seem to be any explanation of her being here in the state of Wisconsin except to engage in criminal behavior,” Berman said of Peralta, who is a Colombian citizen.
Targets of theft crewsAccording to the National Retail Federation, the two most common targets of organized retail crime are designer clothes and designer handbags. Retailers close to interstate access are often targeted.
While high end clothing is a target, more day to day items including infant formula, razors and laundry detergent are also common targets, according to a recent federation survey.
According to the survey, 100 percent of 59 major retailers surveyed nationally in 2016 said their companies had been a victim of organized retail crime in the previous 12 months. Of those, 83 percent said the problem had increased over the last year.
In the schemes, crews of people working together hit stores that have merchandise that is easy to sell at a premium online or at places like flea markets. Crews often work across state lines and use “booster bags,” outwardly typical shopping bags that are lined with a material that blocks anti theft devices.
According to the retail federation, organized retail crime cost retailers $30 billion last year.
Another crew strikesAnother organized crew of shoplifters also appeared to be at work at the Pleasant Prairie outlet mall Saturday.
According to a criminal complaint, an employee at the North Face store at the mall said a group of about five or six men and women were in the store gathered around a bag that was stuffed with jackets.
Pursued by security, the people fled from the store carrying “large, full bags.” Two of the bags were dropped in the parking lot. A Pleasant Prairie Police officer found the vehicle that two of the women had fled in, parked at a nearby McDonald’s, 10551 120th Ave.
Inside the vehicle, the officer found shopping bags stuffed with North Face merchandise, some of it still with anti theft security devices intact. The total value of the clothing and jackets recovered in the vehicle and the bags dumped in the lot was $5,200.
The two women in the vehicle were charged. Tara Brown, 46, and Leah Walls, 42, both of Chicago, were charged with felony retail theft. Brown was also charged with obstructing police because she initially gave police a false name.