SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two San Francisco Bay Area residents were behind bars in San Diego County Monday on suspicion of taking part in an organized retail-theft ring that has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise throughout several states.
Shyonie Myshae Davis, 20, of San Francisco and Wessaun Leetay Johnson, 18, of Antioch were arrested last week along with a third suspect, 21-year- old Ahjanae Latania Anetta Woods of Antioch, during a traffic stop on Interstate 5 in Carlsbad, according to the California Highway Patrol.
All three were booked on suspicion of burglary, conspiracy and organized retail theft. Davis and Johnson were being held on $25,000 bail each. Woods was no longer in custody as of Monday afternoon.
According to the CHP Border Division Organized Retail Crime Task Force, the suspects rented a car and left Northern California on Thursday evening, driving to the San Diego area "for the sole purpose of committing retail thefts" at various malls.
Over a span of several hours, the trio went to Westfield Mission Valley, Westfield Plaza Bonita Mall, Westfield UTC, Carlsbad Premium Outlets and The Forum Carlsbad shopping center, CHP Public Affairs Officer Juan Escobar said.
"The suspects (allegedly) were observed and documented committing thefts at two Victoria's Secret stores during those trips," Escobar said. "During the thefts, the suspects stole 329 items worth (a total of) over $16,000."
Authorities issued a countywide be-on-the-lookout bulletin, and officers with the Carlsbad Police Department soon spotted the suspects' rented car, pulled it over and arrested Davis, Johnson and Woods.
"All the stolen merchandise was located in the vehicle," Escobar said.
The CHP staffs special teams specializing in organized retail theft, working with retailers and other law enforcement agencies to combat criminal groups that victimize merchants throughout the state.
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