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The Week in Electronics Retail Crime

May 2008 By Stephen Silver
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ID Theft Leads to $10,000 Shopping Spree

Two men who stole a handful of credit cards from a doctor’s office in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., spent more than $10,000 in a shopping spree throughout Long Island that included trips to Best Buy, Wal*Mart, Target, and other locations in December. The New York Daily News reported that the two suspects, described as “husky-looking,” remain at large, and that police have “hit a dead end.” Those with leads are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 220-TIPS.

San Antonio Man Accused of Murder, Credit Card Shopping Spree

A man in San Antonio is accused of killing a 76-year-old neighbor with a bow and arrow, setting her home on fire, and then purchasing a laptop and camera from a nearby Best Buy with the dead woman’s credit card.

According to the San Antonio Express News, 18-year-old Joe Estrada, Jr., entered the home of 76-year-old Viola B. Barrios with the intent of burglarizing it, and shot the woman when she woke up during the robbery. He then stole the woman’s credit cards as well as her car, and made several purchases including clothing, hair gel, and the Best Buy items.

Estrada, who later returned to Barrios’ home and set fire to the body, faces the death penalty, the local district attorney told the paper.

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Theft, Best Buy Spree

A Chicago-area man accused of stealing $400,000 from a business partner and spending it on child support payments- and Best Buy purchases- pled not guilty to the charges last week, the Lake County News Sun reported. Anthony Virginelli of Lincolnshire, Ill., is accused of both theft and identity theft, and prosecutors say he stole from the bank account of a business partner. He wept openly in court and, and his attorney asked that he be placed in home confinement for health reasons.

Daytime Burglar Charged in Minnesota

A woman in rural Minnesota has been arrested for carrying out a string of daytime burglaries during which she netted $18,000 worth of TVs, iPods, DVD players and other electronics. The West Central Tribune reported that Amanda Kay Schrupp faces four counts of second-degree burglary and four additional counts of liability for crimes of another in Kandiyohi County District Court. Two others were also charged; Schrupp is already incarcerated on unrelated drug charges.

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