Family-run Retail Theft Crew In Southern California Taken Down By L.A. Police | Old North State Wealth News
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Family-run retail theft crew in Southern California taken down by L.A. police

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A multigenerational, family-run retail theft crew accused of robbing dozens of stores across the Southland and stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise was taken down Thursday in South Los Angeles.

The raid comes after a monthslong investigation by LAPD’s Organized Retail Theft Taskforce into the crime family, dubbed the “Dodger Crew” by police because they often wore Dodger attire during their heists at stores in L.A., Glendale, Torrance and other SoCal cities.

Detectives told KTLA’s Mary Beth McDade that the Mendoza’s ran a lucrative business stealing pricey perfumes and colognes from department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s and then reselling the merchandise for a profit.

“So, they go into various locations throughout the Los Angeles area and steal perfume,” LAPD Lt. Mike McComas said. “We were able to identify them, we were able to identify them and today we served a warrant on their residence.”

Authorities arrested 50-year-old Fermin Mendoza, his 23-year-old son also named Fermin, his 20-year-old daughter Natalie and the children’s mother, 48-year-old Gabriella Lopez.

Police say the elder Fermin’s girlfriend remains on the loose.

Investigators said it’s unusual to see multiple generations of one family committing these types of crimes together.

“We’re out here today because it’s a multigenerational theft crew,” Det. Colin Langsdale said. “So, there’s a dad, what probably is his girlfriend or maybe a stepmom, two children and then another friend that are going out and doing this throughout the Southern California area.

The Mendoza, according to investigators, have committed dozens of robberies since they came to the attention of police in December.

“Couple of them have turned into robberies when they were confronted by staff that work at Nordstrom or Macy’s,” Lt. McComas said.

LAPD says it has seen real success in cracking down on retail theft since the taskforce, which shares information with multiple law enforcement agencies across SoCal, formed some 10 months ago.

The taskforce also works with the department stores.

“We work very closely with department stores and retailers,” McComas added. They share information with us, and we share information with them when we can.”

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Detectives said the next step is to find out how and where the Mendoza’s have been selling their stolen goods.

Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department. Those wishing to remain anonymous call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-222-8477 or leave tips online at www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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