Suspected ring leader in series of retail thefts arrested

(BCN)

A San Francisco man who allegedly led a ring of thieves who targeted stores in several Bay Area shopping centers this spring is facing burglary and robbery charges, Pleasanton police said this week.

(AP)

Between March and May, an organized group of thieves targeted the Victoria’s Secret store at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton several times, according to Detective Brandon Stocking.

The thieves would enter the store in groups of three to 10 people carrying empty bags, remove large amounts of merchandise from the shelves and then flee before security could arrive, Stocking said.

Investigators determined the same group was also raiding stores in Livermore, Newark and Milpitas as well as other high-end retailers around the Bay Area. The group is thought to have taken more than $100,000 worth of goods during a few-month period.

Working with other cities, detectives identified San Francisco resident R’Mani Minard as the suspected ringleader of the group and obtained warrants for his arrest, Stocking said.

Minard was located and arrested in Los Angeles and returned to the Bay Area for prosecution Thursday.

He faces 13 felony counts of commercial burglary and one count of felony robbery in connection with an incident in which he was allegedly involved in a physical altercation with a Victoria’s Secret employee over merchandise, Stocking said. No one was injured in any of the thefts.

Minard is expected to face additional charges from other agencies, Stocking said.

Investigators are still working to identify and locate other suspects involved in the thefts. Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call Pleasanton police at (925) 931-5100

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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