Group accused of shoplifting $100K worth of merchandisePosted: Updated:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Scottsdale police arrested a group of people they say were participating in organized retail thefts and aggravated robberies between Tucson and Phoenix over the past several months.
Police said the suspects took more than $100,000 worth of merchandise from high-end retail stores, including Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom Rack, Dillard's, Ulta, Gucci and Jimmy Choo.
The suspects targeted expensive purses, clothing, perfumes and cosmetics, all of which could be sold on the street for a large profit.
Detectives conducting surveillance at Scottsdale Fashion Square on Wednesday saw a Cadillac parked outside the Dillard's store entrance and suspects identified as Quinzale Nero, 19, and Virgil Nave, 30, go inside. Within 30 seconds, they reportedly fled the store carrying 29 Michael Kors purses, totaling more than $8,000.
The suspects drove to an apartment near Bethany Home Road and 67th Avenue in Glendale and took the purses inside, according to police.
Lamont Hennix Jr., 23, drove away from the apartment about two hours later and was arrested without incident.
Police said Alberto Cortina, 46, arrived at the apartment and Nave and Nero loaded large trash bags into the back seat of his car. A traffic stop was conducted and Cortina admitted he had just purchased the stolen Michael Kors purses and 10 pairs of True Religion jeans for $1,800.
Police said Cortina admitted to having purchased stolen products including clothing, purses and fragrances from them on multiple occasions and sending them to his family in Cuba. Cortina was arrested for trafficking in stolen property.
Later in the afternoon, Nero walked to a nearby grocery store where he was taken into custody. Nave and his sister, Tanya Nave, 27, were arrested at the apartment.
Detectives arrested Renesia McCuin, 29, at a home near Broadway Road and 75th Avenue.
The crimes are being investigated by the Scottsdale and Phoenix police departments and the Pima County Sheriff's Office.