Montebello Police Bust Shoplifting Ring

By City News Service

Two people were arrested and two others were cited for allegedly taking part in a shoplifting ring that targeted Southern California Victoria’s Secret and JC Penney stores, making off with more than $500,000 in merchandise, Montebello police said Tuesday.

Gabriel Contreras, 23, of Highland, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and grand theft, and Riverside resident Guadalupe Rocio Morales, 34, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, according to police.

The arrests were the result of a three-week investigation conducted by Montebello police in conjunction with loss-prevention agents from Victoria’s Secret and JC Penney, according to Montebello police Lt. Andrew Vuncanon.

A search of Morales’ home turned up a significant amount of clothing, handbags, makeup, perfume and lotions believed to be stolen from Victoria’s Secret and JC Penney worth an estimated $489,000, Vuncanon said.

The investigation led authorities to another Riverside home where they recovered an additional $20,000 worth of stolen property from Victoria’s Secret and JC Penney.

Two women were detained at the home and cited to appear in court for allegedly possessing the stolen clothing and property.

“Investigators and loss prevention agents determined through their investigation that the stolen merchandise recovered was going to be sold at local swap meets and out of the residence of one of the suspects,” Vuncanon said.

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April 28, 2016  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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