Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


April 16, 2013
Media Contact: Molly McFarland
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Multi-Agency Investigation Brings Down Retail Theft Ring Totaling Nearly $100,000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Law enforcement officers with multiple agencies arrested eight people for their involvement in an organized retail theft ring totaling nearly $100,000. According to the multi-agency investigation, the ring targeted Walgreens Pharmacies, CVS Pharmacies, Publix Supermarkets, and Winn Dixie Supermarkets, stealing and then reselling over-the-counter medicines and high value health and beauty products. Items stolen by the theft ring included Abreva, Advil, Aleve, Align, Allegra, Claritin, Motrin, Mucinex, Oil of Olay, Pepcid, Prevacid, Prilosec, Releev, Rogaine, Senokot, Tylenol, Zantac, Zegerid, and Zyrtec.

“Organized retail theft is a $30 billion industry nationally, and it costs both businesses and consumers,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Thanks to the hard work of each agency involved in this investigation, the eight people involved in this ring will now be prosecuted by my Office of Statewide Prosecution and brought to justice.”

The investigation began in April 2012 after retailers noticed an increase in theft of over-the-counter medicines and other high value health and beauty products. Walgreens Organized Retail Crimes Investigations, CVS Organized Retail Crimes Investigations and Publix Organized retail Crimes Investigations provided substantial resources and assistance to investigators.

“This complex investigation required coordination between state and local law enforcement, along with corporate security, to bring this ring down,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey.  “I am proud of the dedication of investigators and analysts who aggressively pursued this case.” 

A joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa and Miami Regional Operations Centers, Homeland Security Investigations, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Aventura Police Department, Lauderhill Police Department, Sweetwater Police Department and Doral Police Department led to the arrest of the eight suspects who are all charged with organized retail theft.

The following suspects have been arrested:

Adriana Amanollahi, 43, dealing in stolen property (2 counts), conspiracy to deal in stolen property (1 count)

Jose Antonio Alvarez, 51, dealing in stolen property (2 counts), conspiracy to deal in stolen property (1 count), retail theft; more than one location in 48 hour period (2 counts), conspiracy to commit retail theft (2 counts), grand theft, over $300 but less than $5000 (1 count), conspiracy to commit grand theft (1 count)

Karen Ann Ramirez-Torres, 50, retail theft; more than one location in 48 hour period (1 count), conspiracy to commit retail theft (1 count)

Triana Edna Cockran, 23, retail theft; more than one location in 48 hour period (1 count), conspiracy to commit retail theft (1 count)

Judith Ann Wimbley, 50, grand theft, over $300 but less than $5000 (1 count), conspiracy to commit grand theft (1 count)

James Henry Chick, Jr., 27, retail theft; more than one location in 48 hour period (1 count)

Kimberly Nicole Chick, 24, retail theft; more than one location in 48 hour period (1 count)

Gary Wayne Sheerer, Jr., 31, retail theft; more than one location in 48 hour period (1 count)

Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case. This legislative session, Attorney General Bondi is working with the Florida Legislature on a bill that would strengthen law enforcement’s and prosecutors’ ability to charge and prosecute cases of organized retail theft. Read more about the bill here.