Dismantling of Organized Retail Theft Ring
Aug 8, 2022
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Melbourne Police Department are announcing the dismantling of an organized retail theft ring that targeted stores in 14 counties. According to the investigation, Marshawn Gordon and John McClure, III wore masks and raided stores, stealing nearly $30,000 worth of merchandise. Stores targeted include: Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shops, BJ’s Wholesale, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target and Walmart. A third conspirator, Vishram Baijnauth, knowingly purchased the stolen items from Gordon and McClure at unreasonably low prices to resell online. Law enforcement arrested the criminal trio and Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will handle the cases.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This trio targeted stores in 14 counties across our state—stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise while trying to evade capture. Their shoplifting has ended, and my Statewide Prosecutors will make sure they pay for their crime spree.”
The investigation revealed that Gordon and McClure committed 28 separate thefts targeting specific merchandise in stores—mostly Yeti products, tech devices and golf balls. The duo then sold the stolen goods, most notably through McClure’s online Facebook marketplace postings under the alias ‘China Sam.’
McClure set the listings at heavily discounted prices. McClure either kept the items at a storage facility or transported the items to Baijnauth’s residence. Through a search warrant, police found hordes of products in Baijnauth’s home, along with computers, postage mailers and scales for product shipment. Baijnauth paid McClure for the items, then proceeded to sell the stock for profit on eBay.
The theft spanned the following counties: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk and Seminole.
McClure is charged with one count of grand theft, a first-degree felony; one count of scheme to defraud, a second-degree felony; and three counts of dealing in stolen property, all second-degree felonies.
Gordon is charged with one count of grand theft, a second-degree felony; and one count of scheme to defraud, a third-degree felony.
Vishram Baijnauth is charged with two counts of dealing in stolen property, both second-degree felonies.