Breaking News in the Industry: January 26, 2018

Florida man sold millions in counterfeit luxury goods

A man was arrested after police say they found more than $9.6 million in counterfeit luxury goods he was selling out of his West Miami business..Ulisis Valencia, 26, was arrested Thursday on a charge of selling forged or counterfeited private labels, Miami-Dade Police said. Valencia was selling counterfeit designer clothing and jewelry out of a showroom in the rear of his business. Undercover detectives entered the store and discovered the items, which had a retail value of more than $9.6 million, police said. Photos released by police show shelves filled with rows of designer purses and handbags, wallets, hats, shoes, watches and other items that appeared to be from brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton. When investigators tried to make contact with Valencia, he tried to run out of the business but was quickly caught by detectives, officials said. Police say Valencia ran a legitimate clothing store in the front of the business. “It’s pretty surprising. For the most part it’s a pretty simple neighborhood. We been here for many years and the clients are very nice so it was surprising for it to happen just next door to us,” said Marta Lista, who works at the animal hospital next door to the business. The counterfeit goods were impounded, and Valencia was booked into jail.  [Source: NBC6 Miami]

Shoplifting suspects flee police; Cause crash before they’re arrested

Five suspects are in custody after a high speed police chase ended in a three car crash. The incident started around 4:17 PM yesterday when Pleasant Prairie Police in Wisconsin were notified about shoplifters at a store in the Premium Outlets. The suspects were said to be getting away in a Silver Pontiac headed north. A Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the vehicle going northbound and began pursuit. The vehicle exited and accelerated as it headed east. After failing to stop for a red light he collided with two other vehicles. The suspects then reportedly fled on foot before being captured. No major injuries were reported. The suspects are identified as 20 year old Sandra Smith, 23 year old Wanda Winslow, 19 year old Eugene Scull and 18 year old Kevion Thompson. A 16 year old was also arrested. All reportedly are Milwaukee residents. They will all face felony retail theft charges and obstructing charges. Authorities say they found in excess of $600 worth of allegedly stolen merchandise in the car. The accident resulted in traffic being snarled for several hours near that area. [Source: WLIP News]

Suspect punched LP associate in the face after shoplifting

Officials say a Binghamton, New York, man who was banned from the Johnson City Walmart attempted to shoplift from the store and punched a loss prevention associate Wednesday morning. Davon S. Dozier-Gannaway, 20, was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery  and second degree burglary, all felonies. Police said that while shoplifting merchandise from the store, Dozier-Gannaway was confronted by a LP associate. He then displayed a pair of scissors, threatened one employee and punched another in the face, causing physical injury, police said. Officials said Dozier-Gannaway fled the scene on foot and was located by a Binghamton Police officer. Dozier-Gannaway was compliant with officers and taken into custody without incident, police said. The LP associate was taken to a hospital for injuries sustained in the incident. Officials say Dozier-Gannaway was previously banned from Walmart and entered the store unlawfully. A small area near the entrance to the store was cordoned off for a short period of time and Dozier-Gannaway is being held pending arraignment.  [Source: Press Connects]

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Employee charged with theft

An employee of a local retail store was arrested and charged with theft following an internal investigation. Baileigh Bogard, 19, of Taylorsville, was charged with theft by unlawful taking and lodged in the Shelby County Detention Center when a Spencer County Sheriff’s Deputy was called to the store. Brian Rachford, who works in loss prevention for the Dollar General Store in Elk Creek, told the officer that he had been investigating the employee for several months. He had video footage from inside the store, of Bogard taking money as she closed in the evenings. He said the evidence dates back to October and went until this month. Rachford said that approximately $6,000 was stolen. According to the Sheriff’s Office citation, Bogard admitted the theft to Rachford and the deputy prior to her arrest. [Source: The Spencer Magnet]

Florida players involved in credit card fraud scam learn their fate

The 2017 season got off to a rough start for the Florida Gators, as nine players, including star WR Antonio Callaway and RB Jordan Scarlett, were suspended for credit card fraud. School officials confirmed the return of the players Tuesday to The Associated Press. The other three: Receiver Rick Wells and linebackers Ventrell Miller and James Houston. McElwain suspended the players in August, beginning the collapse during his third and final season at UF – a 4-7 campaign for the Gators. A fifth suspended player – defensive end Keivonnis Davis – continues to recover from non-football injuries related to a scooter accident last fall. It is not yet known if any other discipline awaits the players still in the Florida football program, but this is obviously a step in a solid direction for the young men. He’ll be competing with Malik Davis (currently rehabbing from a knee injury), Lamical Perine, Adarius Lemons, and incoming four-star RBs Dameon Pierce and Iverson Clement for depth chart positioning this offseason. At the time of this writing, of the nine players charged, five are still enrolled. He is enrolled in classes at Florida this spring, but his football future remains uncertain. Scarlett’s return should have the most immediate impact during Mullen’s first season at UF. Scarlett rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns in 2016, and was expected to be the Gators’ starting running back last season. State Attorney Bill Cervone offered pre-trial intervention to seven players – but not Smith and Telfort – that would lead to the dismissal of third-degree felony credit card fraud charges for each. Callaway, Desir-Jones, Smith and Telfort have moved on from Florida.  [Source: Newburgh Gazette]

Employee steals more than $250,000 worth of lottery tickets

A Tallahassee store clerk is accused of taking lotto tickets for himself without paying for them, costing the Florida Lottery more than $250,000. Hutendra Shahi, who was a store clerk at Stop N Shop on West Brevard Street, has been charged with organized scheme to defraud $50,000 or more (first degree), grand theft over $100,000 (first degree), and tampering with physical evidence. According to an investigation by the Florida Lottery Division of Security, Shahi had been printing large amounts of Florida Lottery online game tickets for his own use. They say Shahi also played numerous scratch-off tickets from the store’s inventory without paying for it. Investigators note that Shahi’s wife owns the store.  Officials say reports for Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 showed a high number of Pick 3 tickets being printed, totaling $42,255.50. An investigation revealed that since the store began selling tickets on Florida Lottery Pick 3 ticks on December 19, 2017, “tickets were being systematically printed in large numbers.”  Documents allege Shahi even went so far as to delete footage from the DVR inside the store, printing off and stealing more than 6,000 tickets in one instance. Investigators say the total loss incurred by the Florida Lottery was $255,299.79. When investigators interviewed Shahi, he admitted to having a “gambling problem.” He told officials he had been printing off the Pick 3 tickets for himself because he had a loan to repay.  Based on the investigation, Shahi was charged and taken into custody on Tuesday. [Source: WTXL27 News]

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