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Multistate Home Depot Theft Ring Broken Up

State and federal authorities in New Jersey have broken up a multistate theft ring that for months stole merchandise almost daily from Home Depot stores by under-ringing items at self-checkout counters.

Flickr user BernardBoyGenius

Prosecutors said Thursday the ring hit about 70 Home Depot Inc. stores, mostly in New Jersey but also in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Prosecutors say the thieves struck multiple stores per day resulting in over $100,000 in losses. They distracted employees assigned to monitor self-checkouts as they rang up small items but not expensive merchandise.

Prosecutors allege the leader was 49-year-old Julio Suarez of the New Jersey town of West New York. He was being held at the Morris County Jail on charges including leading an organized retail theft enterprise. Four others have also been charged.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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