Authorities have arrested more than two dozen people for allegedly participating in a multistate shoplifting ring involving more than $10 million in stolen merchandise.
Tulsa, Okla. — State and federal officials announced Thursday that they arrested and charged more than two dozen people for participating in a multistate shoplifting ring with more than $10 million in stolen goods over the years, including Most of them were over-the-counter medicines.
US Attorney Clint Johnson in Tulsa and Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor announced state and federal charges against 29 defendants. Johnson said 25 of the accused have been arrested and four others are still on the run.
Prosecutors said the defendants participated in a conspiracy to steal most over-the-counter drugs from retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, CVS and GNC in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Ringleaders will then arrange for the sale of items on websites such as Amazon and eBay.
“Consumers and businesses pay a high price for burglars who profit and profit by selling their stolen goods in well-organized burglary rings,” said Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, whose department reported in 2019. An organized crime investigator from a pharmacy in the U.S. begins his investigation. The retailer shared information about wholesale thefts from its Tulsa-area locations. “Thieves should take notice. Tulsa is not going to surrender and will not allow criminals to disrupt commerce in our city.”
Prosecutors allege that a 48-year-old Tulsa woman, Linda Bean, led the ring, which earned an estimated $4.5 million from the sale of stolen items such as Flonase, Mucinex, Nexium and Allegra to fencing organizations outside Oklahoma, which then was sold. Goods on e-commerce sites. They allege that Bean, whose name is listed in prison records as Linda Gann, would provide shoppers with an exhaustive list of items to steal and pay for their expenses when they were out of state. Prosecutors allege that if she is arrested, she will also pay the shopkeepers’ bonds.
State and federal court records do not show that Bean has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.