Breaking News in the Industry: July 14, 2017

Store owner smashes getaway car after theft [Video]

The owner of Flight Deck Hobbies in Clovis, California, is asking the public to see whether they recognize a theft suspect captured on surveillance video. 

You see him approach the counter looking as if he is going to purchase a pair of drone VR goggles valued at $250 before running into a getaway car waiting outside. The employee quickly grabs a bat and smashes the back window of the car as the suspects drive off. This is just the latest in a string of burglaries at the shop. 

Over the past couple months, Flight Deck has been targeted at least five times with hundreds of dollars worth in stolen merchandise being taken each time.  [For more: ABC30 Action News]

Deputies arrest two men accused of trying to steal from Home Depot

Two men were arrested in Clark County, Oregon, for retail theft and burglary, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to a report of a theft in progress at the Home Depot on July 11. A probable cause affidavit said store loss prevention called authorities when they saw a man was placing several items into the cart he was pushing.  The loss prevention staff recognized the man from a notification they received identifying the man as a suspect in other Home Depot thefts, and contacted law enforcement when the suspect left the store without paying for the items in his cart. When the suspect was confronted, he left the cart and items and began running through the parking lot.

Deputies said he entered a black Toyota sedan and the driver attempted to back out of the parking spot before he realized a patrol car was parked behind him. He then put the vehicle in park. The driver of the sedan was driving while suspended, deputies said. Both the driver and the theft suspect were detained. Police identified the theft suspect as Tuan Vo and the driver as Thang Nguyen. Vo told officials he was at the store to steal because he wanted money. He said Nguyen knew why they were at the store and knew what he was doing. Vo said Nguyen told him to call when he exited the store. The two suspects were taken into custody. Vo and Nguyen were arrested on charges of organized retail theft II and burglary II.  [For more: KATU2 News]

Florida men charged with credit card trafficking

Two South Florida men were arrested Wednesday on trafficking in fraudulent credit cards after an Interstate 75 traffic stop uncovered gas pump keys, scores of fake cards and more. Yordan Carreras Cespedes, 29, of Hollywood, and Carlos Jose Cespedes, 42, of Miramar, were pulled over on I-75 northbound near mile marker 378 based on a traffic violation, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report. Yordan Cespedes was driving the black Ford F-150, and Carlos Cespedes was in the front passenger seat of the truck.

During a search of the vehicle, police found 80 fraudulent cards in a paper bag, two wallets with seven fraudulent credit cards, a credit card encoder, gas pump keys and other devices related to fraudulent card activity. The seven cards in the wallet had numbers written on the back that appeared to be ZIP codes. In a recording from inside a police vehicle, “both made statements acknowledging the presence of the fraudulent credits,” the report states. They did not wish to speak with police. They were charged with trafficking in counterfeit credit cards and encoding fraudulent cards. On Thursday morning, both men were being held in Alachua County jail in lieu of $70,000 bond.   [For more: The Gainsville Sun]

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Employee at local sporting goods retailer sentenced in $275,000 theft

An Olathe, Kansas, man has been sentenced to a year in federal prison, convicted of stealing more than $275,000 in merchandise while working at a sporting goods chain catering to runners. Craig W. Sullivan, 41, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud. Prosecutors said Sullivan stole the merchandise while working at Garry Gribble’s Running Sports, which has five locations in the Kansas City area. Sullivan oversaw merchandise arriving at the chain’s store in Overland Park and was responsible for distributing it to other locations.

In pleading guilty, Sullivan admitted that he stole Garmin GPS devices and sold them to a buyer in California through Craigslist. The buyer used PayPal to send Sullivan $275,780 in 51 separate payments. The thefts were discovered when Garmin wrote a letter saying Gary Gribble’s was being terminated as a retailer because the GPS devices were being sold on eBay for less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. In addition to the prison sentence, the court ordered Sullivan to pay back the full amount from the thefts.  [For more: The Kansas City Star]

Michigan man wanted for several felonies flees police, causes head-on crash

A 32-year-old Holland, Michigan, man who fled from police ended up causing a head-on collision minutes later. The man, wanted on several felonies in Ottawa and Allegan counties, was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital following the 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 11 crash. Holland police said he was driving south on 120th Avenue, passing other vehicles, when he tried to use the center turn lane to continue passing vehicles. His vehicle crashed head-on with another vehicle.

Police said they had been looking for the 32-year-old man for several weeks because he is a suspect in several crimes in Holland and Ottawa and Allegan counties. On Tuesday, police learned he was involved in a reported retail fraud at the Meijer store on Westshore Drive. The person fled on foot from an Ottawa County sheriff’s deputy near the store, then was able to reach his vehicle parked at a nearby apartment complex. At that point, he drove south on 120th Avenue and police say the crash happened soon after. The driver of the vehicle struck in the turn lane was taken to Holland Hospital for treatment.  [For more: mLIVE]

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