AG: Retail Theft Ring Busted, Thieves Targeted Stores In Indian River, Martin and 12 Other Counties
Florida - Thursday August 11, 2022: Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Melbourne Police Department have announced the arrest of three people accused of stealing nearly $30,000 worth of merchandise from big name retail stores in 14 counties.
“Their shoplifting has ended," said said Attorney General Ashley Moody in a news release, "and my Statewide Prosecutors will make sure they pay for their crime spree."
The thefts occurred in the following counties: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk and Seminole. The stores that were robbed include Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shops, BJ’s Wholesale, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target and Walmart.
Marshawn Gordon and John McClure, III are accused of wearing masks and robbing the stores. They have been charged with 28 separate thefts.
In each case specific merchandise was targeted, mostly Yeti products, tech devices and golf balls. The duo then sold the stolen goods, at heavily discounted prices, often through McClure’s online Facebook marketplace under the alias ‘China Sam.’
The AG says that McClure kept some of the stolen goods at a storage facility and took other items to the home of the third suspect, Vishram Baijnauth. When investigators executed a search warrant at Baijnauth’s home they found "hordes of products" including computers, postage mailers and scales for product shipment. Baijnauth paid McClure for the items, then proceeded to sell the stock for profit on eBay, according to the AG.
*McClure is charged with one count of grand theft, a first-degree felony; one count of scheme to defraud, a second-degree felony; and three counts of dealing in stolen property, all second-degree felonies.
*Gordon is charged with one count of grand theft, a second-degree felony; and one count of scheme to defraud, a third-degree felony.
*Vishram Baijnauth is charged with two counts of dealing in stolen property, both second-degree felonies.