CA: More than $150K in stolen merchandise recovered

On March 23rd at approximately 6:00 pm the Canandaigua Police Department was assisted by the New York City Organized Theft Squad in arresting three Chilean Nationalists located in Queens, New York. Police say the trio used stolen credit cards to purchase more than $6,000 worth of merchandise in Victor — and were part of an organized South American theft group, which had hit a total of thirteen states in the U.S.Canandaigua Police Chief Jonathan Welch said that the three suspects, Jason Andres Aranguiz Rojas, 22, Cinthia Valentia Patricia Villar Mieres, 21, and Erika Alexjandra Meneses Naranjo, 32, were charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, and identity theft in the first degree following an investigation into a stolen wallet.The trio allegedly stole a woman’s wallet at Wegmans in the City of Canandaigua and purchasing approximately $6,500 worth of merchandise at Target and Macy’s in Victor, using the stolen credit cards from the wallet. Through the investigation, it was learned that the three were a part of a larger, organized crime spree that has been tracked to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.Police say the participants, including these three individuals, obtained fake Puerto Rican driver’s licenses to open bank accounts with debit cards and to rent vehicles. The crew would remove purses in stores by distracting victims, and then looking for credit cards inside the purses and wallets. Police say that the suspects would go into nearby stores and purchase large quantities of electronics and gift cards with the stolen credit cards. The gift cards were then flipped to buy massive amounts of clothing, sneakers, shoes, jewelry, watches, and other items. They would also steal large amounts of clothing from department stores when possible.The Canandaigua Police Department along with the NYPD Organized Theft Squad executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home in Queens. Approximately $150,000 in stolen merchandise was recovered in the search. The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the transport of the three suspects from New York City — back to Canandaigua where they will face the charges.Rojas, Mieres, and Naranjo were arraigned at the Canandaigua City Court and are currently remanded to the Ontario County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.Police ask any person or store that recognize these individuals to contact Detective Nate Lawrence (585) 396-5004 or by email [email protected] of Canandaigua Police Department.

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