Two alleged participants in what investigators say is a major retail crime ring have been arrested by Glendale police, authorities said Friday.
The probe began with a shoplifting case at The Americana at Brand shopping center and resulted in Carlos Rivera, 32, of Los Angeles and Monica Paredes, 42, of Van Nuys being identified as suspects in “a major fencing operation,” according to Tahnee Lightfoot of the Glendale Police Department.
Fencing refers to the illegal sale of ill-gotten goods.
Rivera and Paredes were arrested on March 13, when a search warrant served at Paredes’ apartment “revealed over $100,000 worth of stolen merchandise” from stores including Lululemon, Victoria’s Secret, Zumiez, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Sunglass Hut and others, Lightfoot said.
“Officers recovered over 400 sunglasses in display cases and individual cases valued at approximately $37,000,” Lightfoot said. “Representatives from Sunglass Hut identified $7,000 worth of merchandise that was traced to thefts in Utah, Ohio and California.
“In addition, officers recovered high end designer handbags, 100 JuJuBe Tokidoki backpacks and 64 Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Store sports jerseys valued at $22,620.”
Additional items have been recovered from stores that have not been identified, Lightfoot said.
“Officers also located $40,000 in cash hidden in a bedroom behind a child’s crib, totaling $51,480 recovered during the search warrant,” she said.
Rivera and Paredes, who were arrested at the time of the search, were booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property.
Both were released on the same day they were arrested after each posted $20,000 bail, according to sheriff’s inmate records.
The case remains under investigation and anyone with information that could help detectives was urged to call Glendale police at (818) 548-4911.
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