A retail theft ring responsible for stealing and reselling tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise in Volusia and Seminole counties’ stores was dismantled Tuesday after a multi-agency investigation, authorities said. Officials arrested Constantine “Mike” Joseph, 53, and Sherry Laizer, 48, on accusations that they sold about $75,000 in stolen merchandise between January and March. Laurie Ashley, Joseph’s girlfriend, called deputies and said she was upset that he’d taken advantage of her and she wanted to talk about his illegal racket. She said he enlisted boosters to steal items from retail stores, bought the items and resold them in his eBay store. Ashley said the stolen items included FitBit fitness trackers, perfume and cologne, printer ink cartridges, electric toothbrushes, thumb drives, over-the-counter medications and various health and beauty products.
Volusia County deputies determined that the Volusia Mall JCPenney store lost $45,000 to $50,000 worth of perfume and cologne over the last year. Investigators contacted Joseph’s probation officer, who said he noticed a cabinet of packaged printer ink cartridges when he visited Joseph’s home.
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