4 in Orange County arrested in theft of nearly $2 million in goods from 43 stores – Orange County Register

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Four people were arrested by California Highway Patrol officers on suspicion of stealing nearly $2 million worth of retail products from 43 different stores and storing them inside a Midway City mobile home and multiple storage units, authorities said Monday, Sept. 13.

Jaime Mendoza, 36, and Maritza Guerrero, 31, both of Anaheim, were taken into custody Aug. 31 after CHP investigators saw them commit at least one theft and deliver the stolen merchandise to the mobile home, CHP officials said.

The pair was also identified by investigators from TJX Companies Inc., which serves TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores, officials said. The company contacted the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime unit, which works with retailers across the state to combat sophisticated crews who steal merchandise.

 

CHP investigators found merchandise from “floor to ceiling” inside the mobile home after serving a search warrant and arrested Yolanda De la Rosa, 48, and Jaime De la Rosa, 55, officials said.

More merchandise was found in four self-storage units also connected to the suspects, officials said. Investigators needed multiple trucks to haul away the stolen goods. Officials also found more than $65,000 in cash.

All the merchandise had store tags in place and several had security sensors, officials said.

Officials did not say what information was provided to the CHP, how the suspects were identified or how investigators were able to track the suspects to the store.

The CHP also did not say specifically how the thefts were carried out except to say they generally were done during daytime business hours, spokesman Officer Jake Sanchez said. The suspects hit stores throughout Southern California.

TJX Companies Inc. was aware of the arrests and “appreciate the great work and collaboration with the California Highway Patrol,” spokesman Andrew Mastrangelo said. The company declined further comment.

Mendoza was released from jail, Sept. 1, according to inmate records. Guerrero and both Jaime and Yolanda De la Rosa remained in jail on no bail.

They were scheduled to make their next court appearance, Sept. 16.

The theft ring was the second in Orange County broken up by the CHP in the last six months. On April 1, CHP officers served search warrants at a Midway City home and a Garden Grove business, arrested two men and found nearly $1 million in stolen goods taken from grocery stores, officials said.

Ralphs and other companies had recognized those suspects returning to their stores and had reached out to the Organized Crime Unit in January.

The unit was formed in November 2019 and tasked to the CHP because organized retail crime often travels across jurisdictions and counties making investigations tougher for smaller, local agencies, officials have said.

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