NJ Home Depot Shoplifting Ring Busted, Ringleader Pleads Guilty
A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a second-degree shoplifting charge after leading an organized retail theft ring that targeted Home Depot stores in New Jersey.
Julio Arriola Suarez, 49, of West New York, a.k.a Jimmy R. Alcivar, admitted to committing thefts totaling more than $1,000 in merchandise as part of a retail theft enterprise, according to the NJ Office of the Attorney General.
Suarez was arrested on April 3 in Jersey City. An investigation determined that he led a ring that committed thefts at multiple Home Depot stores per day, stealing hundreds of dollars in merchandise by "under-ringing" it through self-checkout areas.
The state will recommend that Suarez be sentenced to four years in state prison. The sentencing for Suarez is scheduled for Dec. 14.
Three additional members of the ring pleaded guilty earlier this month and face jail time.
David Pulgarin, 29, formerly of Union City and West New York, and Javier Duque Piza, 56, formerly of West New York, pleaded guilty on Oct. 9. Julio Duque Barahona, 30, recently in prison in New York state, pleaded guilty on Oct. 10.
Pulgarin is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 2, and Piza and Barahona, on Nov. 16. The state will recommend that each man be sentenced to 364 days in the county jail and a period of probation.
A fifth man, Nicholas Arriola Cortez, 49, formerly of Union City, was charged in April in the investigation. He remains a fugitive and is being sought on a warrant.
The ring members were based in Hudson County. Pulgarin is a naturalized U.S. citizen, but the others are not U.S. citizens. Suarez, Piza and Barahona could potentially face deportation on the charges.
The theft ring targeted approximately 70 Home Depot stores, primarily in New Jersey, but also in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.