Members of a retail theft ring lugged at least $400,000 worth of baby diapers, power tools, small appliances and other merchandise from North Carolina Lowe’s and Home Depot stores, Cabarrus County Sheriff Van Shaw said.
Sheriff’s investigators on Thursday arrested two of five suspects in the ring after finding the goods stacked “floor to ceiling” in rooms of a home in Harrisburg, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
“The suspects had posted hundreds of new in-box power tools, diapers, baby formula, laundry detergent, outdoor power equipment, small appliances, etc. for sale on online marketplace sites,” Shaw said in the release.
Other items were sold at the home, he said.
Investigators conducted “an extensive investigation and surveillance for several weeks” before obtaining a warrant to search the home in the 200 block of Valhalla Drive, according to the release.
“Thousands of new in-box items were located and recovered throughout the home,” officials said in the release. “The basement was nearly entirely filled with stolen products.”
A “slide” helped moved items into the basement, the Sheriff’s Office said. Rooms throughout the house were filled with stolen items, too, investigators said.
“It took approximately 50 people with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office and various retailers over 12 hours to move and inventory all the merchandise,” according to the release.
The merchandise was stolen from Lowe’s and Home Depot stores in Cabarrus County “and the surrounding area,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
The ring operated for about a year, the sheriff said.
Investigators arrested Irma Hernandez and Bonifacio Silvas, who live in the home, on charges of continuing a criminal enterprise, organized retail theft, felony possession of stolen goods and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods. Both remained in jail on Saturday on $200,000 bail.
Sheriff’s investigators also obtained arrest warrants for Lakevis Maloye, Ke`Marseau McSwain and Jermaine Walls in connection with the ring. They haven’t been found, Shaw said.