SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A months long investigation into a Northern California retail theft operation, has resulted in the arrest of four suspects and a request to the public for help finding additional victims of these crimes.
According to a CHP Golden Gate Division Facebook post, 33-year-old Karen Caye De Guzman, 32-year-old King James Barberan Miranda and 65-year-old Terry Craig Hubbard, all residents of Sacramento, were arrested and are suspected of using fraudulent coupons to obtain merchandise for free or reduced cost to resell at a storefront known as KC Liquidators.
On December 10, investigators from the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Division’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, including members from the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office among others served a search warrant on a suspected coupon fraud ring’s residence and business in the Sacramento area dubbed, “Operation Liquidator.”
The storefront was being advertised on Facebook Marketplace as a location to “never pay retail.” Investigators recovered fraudulent coupons and stolen or fraudulently purchased merchandise from retailers including CVS, Walgreens, Target, and others totaling over $212,000.
The suspects were booked into the Sacramento County Jail on several charges including grand theft, possession of stolen property, organized retail theft, and conspiracy.
A week earlier, the same group of investigators served a search warrant on a South Sacramento home/store for an investigation that began in July.
The operation, dubbed “Operation Patrona,” resulted in the arrest of 30-year-old Maria Angel Ozuna of Sacramento and the recovery of $73,000 in suspected stolen retail merchandise from CVS, Walgreens, and others. She was also booked into the Sacramento County Jail on several charges including grand theft, possession of stolen property, organized retail theft, and conspiracy.
“The retail merchandise these individuals were selling at a reduced cost was only possible because of their criminal activities and was at the expense of the retailers and their employees, who are risking their health during the pandemic to work and provide for their families,” said Lieutenant Kevin Domby, of the CHP Golden Gate Division Investigative Services Unit.
The CHP was seeking the public’s assistance in locating additional victims from these crimes. If you have any information, please call the tip line at (510) 957-8247.