SAN DIEGO — Two men who committed a series of brazen organized retail theft crimes at Sunglass Hut locations and other high-end stores across San Diego County were sentenced Thursday to three years and eight months in state prison, prosecutors said.
Ernesto Louis Cruz, 27, and Jordan Guzman Lopez, 27, both pleaded guilty to robbery and grand theft charges, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan stated.
Cruz and Lopez stole hundreds of pairs of sunglasses worth $238,847 from nine Sunglass Hut store locations, targeting some more than once, per the district attorney. The other robberies include more than $4,000 in Nordstrom Rack shoes, $7,000+ in merchandise from Bloomingdales and over $6,000 in jackets from Burberry.
“This prosecution and prison sentence should serve as a warning that we’re holding organized retail theft crime rings accountable for the harm to retailers, their employees and community who are often traumatized by these crimes,” Stephan said. “Unfortunately, this is another example of ‘smash and grab’ robberies that have been on the increase in the past five years.”
According to Stephan, organized criminal rings look to resell large amounts of stolen goods from businesses of all types and sizes, especially through unregulated online marketplaces.
“A recent change in the law will bring a much needed fix to outdated state and federal laws that allow the unregulated sale of stolen goods online and provide little recourse to stop repeat offenders,” the San Diego County DA said.