By Rudy Blalock
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Border Division continues to crack down on organized retail theft after uncovering an organized group of thieves last month, operating in part, in Anaheim.
Anaheim resident Yolando De La Rosa, 49, and Jesus Ortiz, 48, of Lynwood were booked in Orange County jail Feb. 24 on charges of organized retail theft according to authorities. Officials said the pair had stolen nearly half a million dollars worth of items and were part of a retail theft ring.
In January, CHP and private investigators initiated a criminal investigation into an organized group of retail thieves, officials said in a social media post. Authorities did not respond to a request March 2 regarding where the group is based.
Their operation, according to authorities, involves a middleman who purchases stolen goods from an organized group of thieves and delivers them to locations to be sold to unknowing buyers. The two arrested in February served as go-betweens.
Authorities said investigators “observed multiple suspects arriving and delivering suspected stolen property to an apartment in Anaheim, California.”
After obtaining a search warrant, authorities searched the apartment and two other locations in Lynwood and Bellflower associated with the organized crew.
Some 14,000 items were recovered totaling $460,000. Stolen merchandise included still-tagged clothing, purses, cologne, shoes, perfume, and other miscellaneous items.
According to officials, such investigations since 2019 have resulted in 855 arrests and the recovery of over $28 million in stolen merchandise.