$300K Organized Retail Crime Ring Targeting Big Box Retailers Busted

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) says it busted a theft ring hitting Target stores and Home Depot stores across the state of Florida and around the southeast.

Agents believe the suspects committed more than 150 thefts valued at more than $300,000, saying as many as 90 of the thefts were in Florida. FDLE hauled more than a dozen boxes of evidence in for a news conference Monday afternoon. Investigators say Usman Ali was the ring leader of the thefts. They say he and his crew stole everything from breast pumps to Nicorette to Rogaine and WiFi-enabled light dimmers.

Special Agent Lee Massie says Ali would bring barcode stickers for $8 and $20 items and put them over the barcodes of goods costing much more. “A smart-lighting dimmer switch kit which sold for $100, a WiFi smart thermostat that sold for what would retail for $200 and a home wifi system selling for nearly $300 retail,” Massie said.

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He says Ali would put the items in a cart then leave the cart in the store and call one of his associates who would them come in and find the cart. Surveillance video shows the other suspects pushing carts and checking out, looking like normal shoppers. Once out of the store, FDLE says the goods were all given to Ali and that he’d take them home and sell them on eBay. According to FDLE, Ali would sell the items for just a few dollars less than regular retail prices… Fox51 News

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