Organized retail theft refers to shoplifting on a much larger scale. Generally, a person commits organized retail theft or fraud if they work with other parties to steal from retailers with the intent of reselling the stolen items for financial gain. Two New Yorkers are now facing various theft-related criminal charges, including first-degree forgery, organized retail theft, third-degree larceny, possession of shoplifting devices and conspiracy to commit organized retail theft and third-degree larceny.
The man and woman were stopped by police for making an unsafe left-hand turn. During the stop, officers found an expired vehicle registration that did not belong to that vehicle.
The men were arrested after police searched the vehicle and reportedly found stolen merchandise from a local mall worth $4,000 and hundreds of dollars in counterfeit bills. Officers also found a foil-lined bag allegedly used to deactivate or tamper with anti-theft tags. Police also found marijuana and an item used to remove anti-theft devices in the woman's purse.
When a police officer stops a vehicle for a routine traffic stop, they will need probable cause to search the vehicle. In other words, the officer must have reasonable belief that a crime has taken place and that the people in the vehicle were involved in it. However, if a police officer searches a vehicle without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence found in the vehicle may not be used against in court. If one was the victim of an illegal search and seizure, a criminal defense attorney can help prevent prosecutors from using evidence from the search to convict on theft charges.