On August 31st, 2021, California Highway Patrol investigators assigned to Border Division’s Organized Retail Crime Taskforce arrested four suspects for committing repeated thefts and possessing stolen merchandise in furtherance of an organized retail crime ring.
Investigators from TJX Companies Inc., who serve TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores identified a team who repeatedly victimized their stores throughout Southern California. They initiated an investigation into the thefts and contacted CHP’s ORC Team. CHP investigators observed Jaime Mendoza, 36 years old, and Maritza Guerrero, 31 years old, both of Anaheim, commit multiple thefts of retail goods, and ultimately deliver the stolen product to a mobile home in Midway City. A search warrant was served at the mobile home where investigators discovered stolen merchandise packed nearly floor to ceiling. Yolanda and Jaime De la Rosa, 48 and 55 years of age, were both arrested at the residence. Four self-storage units were identified and connected to the suspects, all of which contained stolen retail goods. Multiple trucks were needed to recover the stolen merchandise. All of the merchandise was located with the store tags still in place and several of the items had security sensors still affixed. In addition to the stolen merchandise, ORC investigators recovered over $65,000 in cash.
All four suspects were arrested and booked into county jail for their involvement in the crimes. The case will be presented to the Orange County District Attorney’s office for review. TJX Companies Inc. personnel worked multiple days with CHP investigators to inventory the stolen merchandise. The stolen merchandise belonged to 43 different retailers and the total value for the recovery was $1,907,303.
The California Highway Patrol has dedicated Organized Retail Theft Teams who work with retailers to combat sophisticated crews that continue to victimize merchants throughout the state. California Penal Code section 490.4(a) was authored in efforts to combat the on-going organized retail theft problem in California.