Potomac News Online | Suspects arrested in Marshalls thefts

BALTIMORE — Both area Marshalls clothing stores were hit by a ring of thieves that stole men’s suits and returned them later for cash, according to the Associated Press.

The Baltimore-based thieves are accused of stealing the suits from stores at Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge and Manaport Plaza in Manassas and 68 other stores in Northern Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region, according to the AP.

Seven Baltimore residents were arrested Thursday and charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Each was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and transport stolen property across state lines.

The suspects are accused of visiting Marshalls stores in 46 jurisdictions over the past year, officials said. Members would walk into a store and buy a suit, sometimes costing up to $799. The receipts were then photocopied while conspirators stole other expensive Marshalls suits. Using the phony receipts, the stolen suits were then returned for cash. Police allege the thieves netted $250,000.

The group allegedly hit stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Twenty-two Marshalls stores in Virginia suffered about $100,000 in losses from the scam.

A spokeswoman for TJX Cos., the Massachusetts parent company of Marshalls, said the company was cooperating with authorities but would not comment further.

Those arrested were Clifton Ervin McLean, 55; Peggy Ann Clark, 35; Kekey Lisha McLean, 27; Ronnie Edward McCan, 53; Keith Lamont Norris, 26; John Antwain Harrod, 36; and Christopher Elijah Wilson, 55, all of Baltimore. Authorities are still looking for Joseph Nathaniel Pauling Jr., 28, and Cory Brion Kennedy, 27, also of Baltimore.

Affidavits filed in the case say the group devised an intricate scheme. Some made legitimate purchases while others were “boosters” who stole suits. Others were “refunders.”

The scheme was uncovered by a fraud investigator at Marshalls who noticed a pattern of people making large numbers of returns.

Similar Posts