One of three men convicted in a scheme to steal ceiling fans has been handed a prison sentence. Find out more about their thefts below:
Micah Allen Pierce, Jesse Raul Henderson, and Clint Anthony Anaya were all convicted for stealing $28,000 worth of ceiling fans from home improvement stores in Arizona.
The trio would then sell the fans for lower prices on Facebook Marketplace.
Overall, Pierce, Henderson and Anaya have been linked to 28 thefts across Arizona, with more than 70 ceiling fans stolen from Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal counties, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said in a press release.
Appearing in Pima County Superior Court in December last year, Henderson pleaded guilty to one count each of fraudulent schemes/artifices and organised retail theft.
Earlier this week, he was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by three years probation. Henderson was also ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution.
Pierce is scheduled to be sentenced on 14 April, while Anaya was handed six months in the Arizona Department of Corrections back in February, after which he'll serve five years of supervised probation.
In surveillance footage footage from 2020, one of the men can be seen rolling a number of ceiling fans out of the store on a trolley, in broad daylight, with nobody stopping him. There wasn't an elaborate plan behind the thefts - they walked in, grabbed what they wanted, and walked out.
Nick Klingerman, who leads the Arizona's new Organised Retail Theft Task Force, said they took advantage of store policies 'designed to protect employees, to not confront thefts'.
He continued: "This was a combination of the retail security officers working to identify these people and then partnering with law enforcement to go out and figure out the full scope."
The past two years have seen an increase in organised retail crime, and it's not just the businesses paying the price.
Klingerman said: "These costs get passed onto consumers. If you wanna continue going to your favourite store, they need to stay open and in business, and they have to pass on these losses and the price of their items. You see that affecting people's pocketbooks directly.
"Like all organised crime, it takes time to peel back the layers and identify exactly what's going on, who's involved, how they're involved, and how they're running the scam.
"I would caution members of the public buying things at very reduced prices on Facebook Marketplace, to really question the source of where that item came from, so they can feel comfortable that they're not buying a stolen good and contributing to organised retail theft."
And there was them thinking it'd be a breeze.
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Arizona Attorney General's Office/Alamy
Topics: US News
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