Local

Dec 11, 2012 7:00 PM by Ian Cross

4 women accused of running large-scale theft ring

TUCSON - Police have arrested four women who are allegedly part of an organized retail theft ring which has been responsible for 20 to 30 separate large-scale shoplifting incidents at various stores around Tucson.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Organized Retail Crime Association alerted Tucson Police to a group of female thieves that seemed to be targeting CVS stores in the Tucson Metro area, according to a news release form Tucson Police. In August, TPD began an investigation with CVS Loss Prevention Representatives.

At that time, they believed a group of four women were involved in six to eight separate incidents at CVS stores around Tucson. Investigators checked with other stores, and learned that the women were part of the an organized retail theft ring, responsible for 20 to 30 shoplifting incidents at stores including: Safeway, Walgreens, Ross, and Charming Charlie, according to the news release.

Investigators learned that the women would steal items such as cosmetics, jewelry, accessories, and clothing, and then give them to other people who would sell them at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet.

In late November, investigators from the Major Theft Offenders Unit obtained a search warrant for a home associated with the suspects, and to search the stall at the swap meet, the release states. Investigators found merchandise valued at over $100,000, arrested four women, and obtained an arrest warrant for a fifth.

According to the release, the four women who have been arrested are:

• Jessica Rodriguez (25 years old) - 1 count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, 1 count of Money Laundering, 1 count of Theft, and 1 count of Trafficking in Stolen Property, all felony offenses.
• Melesia Romo (31 years old) - 1 count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, 1 count of Money Laundering, and 1 count of Theft, all felony offenses
• Veronica Munoz (33 years old) - 1 count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, 1 count of Money Laundering, 1 count of Theft, and 1 count of Organized Retail Theft, all felony offenses
• Karla Castro (20 years old) - 1 count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, 1 count of Money Laundering, 1 count of Theft, and 1 count of Organized Retail Theft, all felony offenses

A warrant was obtained for the arrest of Karina Ortiz (27 years old), charging her with 1 count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, 1 count of Money Laundering, 1 count of Theft and 6 counts of Organized Retail Theft, all felony offenses.

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