Charged with Being a Leader of an Organized Retail Theft Ring
According to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, a brother and sister have been arrested and charged with being the leader of an organized retail theft enterprise in Franklin Township following a seven-month long investigation. The sibling own and run Everything Wireless, which is located on the 600 Block of Hamilton Street. Based on the reports that have been released at this point in time, it appears that the siblings, along with four employees were routinely selling items that were allegedly shoplifted from major stores like Target, Home Depot, Lowes and Bed Bath & Beyond. These items were both sold in the store as well as online. In all, authorities believe that the defendants had sold more than $14,000 worth of stolen merchandise.
On top of being charged with being the leader of a retail theft ring, the siblings were charged with racketeering, receiving stolen property as well as fencing stolen property. In addition, four employees, ranging from age twenty-three to fifty-four were also charged with receiving stolen property and fencing. Unlike most theft charges, were by the degree of the charge will be dictated by the value of the merchandise in question, being the leader of a retail theft ring is considered a second degree felony offense. If convicted on that charge alone the defendants would be facing anywhere from five to ten years in a New Jersey State Prison.
Receiving Stolen Property vs. Shoplifting Charges
The Defendants in the above case were charged with receiving stolen property but not shoplifting since there is no evidence that they were the ones who actually stole the merchandise in question. Unlike a shoplifting charge, which seeks to prosecute the underlying theft of the merchandise in question, a receiving stolen property charge seeks to prosecute those who are actually caught in possession of merchandise that they knew or should have known was stolen. For more information on receiving stolen property charges in New Jersey, please click the link.
Shoplifting Lawyers in Franklin NJ
If you have been arrested and charged with a theft related offense like shoplifting, theft by extortion, receiving stolen property, theft by deception, burglary or being the leader of a shoplifting ring in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. If you would like to set up a free initial one-on-one consultation today then please contact our Bridgewater at 908-533-1064 and one of our attorneys would be glad to discuss the specifics of your case.
For more information on this incident, please checkout nj.com’s article labeled N.J. family-run store sold items shoplifted from big retailers, cops say.