SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Two alleged leaders of an organized retail theft ring have pleaded guilty to stealing more than 1-million dollars in high-end jewelry across the Bay Area and California.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta made the announcement Friday morning along with a new tool for the public to solve retail crimes.
“Those who break the law, and peddle stolen goods, must be held accountable,” said Rob Bonta, speaking outside the CHP office in Oakland.
He announced a major takedown of an organized retail crime ring that targeted jewelry stores at multiple JC Penney’s and Sam’s clubs.
“Involving defendants who stole more than 1- million dollars from 9 different counties across California,” Bonta stated.
He says it took multiple law enforcement agencies that started investigating the robbery ring back in 2020 that has led to four people now being charged.
“When we take things long rings out, we reduce the demand for smash and grab robberies and street level theft”, Bonta stated.
Legal expert Paula Canny says, usually, the county district attorney’s initiates a prosecution, “So it is remarkable that the attorney general took the bull by the horn, and initiated a prosecution”
Bonta also announced on Friday that the state will be opening up an online portal, where the public can submit photos and tips to help fight organized retail theft.
He told the crowd, “members of the public, who see something, can say something, and can say it to us and take it from there.”