GILBERT, Ariz. — A Gilbert man is in custody for allegedly using his
wheelchair-bound mother to steal more than $130,000 worth of products from
Gilbert police say 61-year-old Larry Ruthenberg is being held on suspicion of
fraudulent schemes and organized retail theft.
They say Ruthenburg has been arrested multiple times for retail fraud in
Michigan and he and his 89-year-old mother Doris moved to Arizona last June.
Gilbert police say Ruthenburg and his mother allegedly were involved in 32
thefts over a five-day span from 19 retailers.
Police say the two then allegedly sold the items — still in their original
packaging — at Gilbert garage sales.
Authorities say they seized three truckloads of stolen merchandise from
Ruthenburg’s home and several storage lockers.
Police say charges after Ruthenburg’s mother are pending.