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3 arrested for $300K in retail thefts at high-end stores in Bay Area, SoCal

3 arrested in Bay Area retail theft ring that stole $650K in merchandise
3 arrested in Bay Area retail theft ring that stole $650K in merchandise 02:43

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Tuesday the arrests of three people suspected in a series of retail thefts at high-end stores in the Bay Area and Southern California, in which more than $300,000 in items were stolen.

The suspects, identified as 26-year-old Isaiah Abdullah, 25-year-old Ishmael Baptist and 26-year-old Nickolas Mallory, are facing multiple felony charges, including organized retail theft, robbery and grand theft in connection with more than 20 thefts between Dec. 2022 and last month.

"Organized retail theft harms businesses, retailers, and consumers – and puts the public at risk," Bonta said in a statement. "Organized retail crime has been plaguing our state for far too long."

Prosecutors said the suspects allegedly conducted "smash and grab" style thefts by running into stores, stealing purses and other high-end items before running out. Targeted stores included Burberry, Prada, Sunglass Hut, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Gucci, Coach, Versace and Maison Margiela.

According to the court filing, Abdullah is suspected of stealing $23,000 in items during two thefts at Louis Vuitton stores in Santa Clara County in June 2023. Abdullah, along with Mallory, are also suspected of stealing nearly $6,800 in merchandise from a Burberry store in Alameda County in Oct. 2023.

The suspects are also connected to retail thefts in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. Prosecutors said the stolen merchandise from all the thefts was worth $309,752.

All three suspects are being held at the Los Angeles County Jail.

Tuesday's arrests follow the busts of other alleged retail theft rings in the state.

Last month, Bonta's office announced the arrest of a suspected ringleader of an operation that stole $8 million in items from beauty stores across California. In January, the attorney general announced the arrests of three people suspected of stealing $650,000 in items from more than two dozen stores across the Bay Area.

Bonta's office urged anyone with information about retail theft to submit tips to the California Department of Justice website.

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