Dallas Officials Bust “Sophisticated” Retail Theft Ring

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News had exclusive access to raids across Dallas County Wednesday as law enforcement agencies executed ‘Operation No Return’.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office apprehended 14 people accused of operating an organized crime ring involving gift cards and stolen retail clothing.

During the raids, at apartments and houses across Dallas, authorities netted 14 of the 17 people indicted for organized crime, theft and other charges.

The yearlong investigation resulted in the shutdown of what authorities called a “major and sophisticated” retail theft ring.

According to authorities, shoplifters would take bags of their own clothes into store dressing rooms and removed security devices from new clothes.

During a press conference Tony Robinson, the Chief Investigator at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, explained more about Operation No Return.

“One person would provide the transportation, she would wait out in the car while one individual went out and actually stole the merchandise,” explained Robinson. “She [shoplifter] would leave the store, get back in the car, they’d drive to another retailer and the person that was driving would get out and go exchange the merchandise.”

Authorities said the thieves would accept gift certificates for the stolen merchandise they returned to retailers.

“They would get gift cards and they would sell these particular gift cards on eBay, Craigslist, and they would even advertise the gift cards on their Facebook pages,” said Robinson.

Investigators believe the suspects got away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise, before they were caught – leaving retailers and customers to absorb the loss.

“To take this kind of loss, we’re talking in excess of $400,000 that we know of, it’s a major impact on a corporations bottom line,” Robinson said.

Officials say Operation No Return is ongoing and more arrests are expected in the coming weeks.

Those arrested face charges including Engaging in Organized Crime, punishable by two to 10 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000 and Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information, punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.

  • 2sister

    Actually it isn’t uncommon for retailers to give you a gift card if you return something without a receipt. Stores have to be careful, but they also have to be customer friendly. There really are honest people out their who return things without a receipt. Sometimes they have lost the receipt, sometimes the clerk forgot to give them the receipt, and sometimes they are returning gifts where the giver didn’t give them a receipt.

    It isn’t the fault of the stores that we have dishonest people in our world.

  • http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2011/09/29/leading-off-92911/ Leading Off (9/29/11) | FrontBurner

    […] Members of “Sophisticated” Theft Ring. The retail theft operation centered on TJ Maxx, apparently. In this story, authorities called it “major and sophisticated.” Which are probably the […]

  • Joey Salt

    lol, doesnt seem to sophisticated to me dude.


  • Bill H

    When I worked retail years ago, a couple came into the large department store where I worked and “returned” some very expensive luggage without a receipt. The guy who ran that department was off that day – they made enough of a scene that management wanted them out of there – and they walked out with about $1000 in cash for items stolen from a warehouse a month before.

  • Busted

    Fascinating how the mind works isn’t it. You have to say it was well thought out, but no plan b. Good job to all the LE’s out there who busted these guys.

blog comments powered by Disqus
The Taz Show

Listen Live