ARIZONA NEWS

Suspects arrested in Valley organized retail theft spree of $24,000

Dec 20, 2023, 2:45 PM

organized retail theft spree...

Three suspects accused of stealing nearly $24,000 in merchandise in a Valley organized retail theft spree were arrested Nov. 28, 2023. (Glendale Police Photo)

(Glendale Police Photo)

PHOENIX — Three suspects accused of stealing nearly $24,000 in merchandise in a Valley organized retail theft spree have been arrested, authorities announced Wednesday.

Jihana Jones, 41, along with 20-year-old Renae Molett and 25-year-old Quantana Curtis, were arrested Nov. 28, according to the Glendale Police Department.

The vehicle the women were arrested in had more than $5,000 in stolen merchandise, police said.

All three suspects admitted to stealing items and reselling them on websites such as OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace for financial gain, according to police.

Jones, Molett and Curtis were charged with multiple accounts of organized retail theft and trafficking of stolen property.

Why did the suspects go on an organized retail theft spree?

Organized retail crime is festering in Arizona — and elected officials are working hard to hold criminals accountable.

Local police agencies sent the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office 301 cases of organized retail theft sprees in 2022, according to a Nov. 15 announcement.

County attorney Rachel Mitchell said she expects the number for this year’s retail thefts will far exceed 2022’s statistics.

In response to the wave of organized retail thefts, county attorney Rachel Mitchell announced the Safe Shopping campaign last month. As part of the campaign, her office launched an online database to crack down on Arizona’s theft campaigns.

However, Mitchell has been hard on retail thefts long before November. She said Arizona is tougher on accused thieves than other parts of the country during a Sept. 6 press conference.

“I do not want to see Maricopa County or Phoenix or other surrounding areas turn into the hellscape that is Los Angeles,” she told reporters.

This Organized Retail Crime (ORC) tool details multiple recent cases — including the recent case involving Jones, Mollett and Curtis.

The MCAO said the three suspects accused of stealing merchandise worth $23,984 were indicted on eight counts of organized retail theft. Each of those counts classifies as a class 4 felony.

According to the Organized Retail Crime (ORC) tool, Jones, Mollett and Curtis targeted Victoria’s Secret stores across the Valley.

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Suspects arrested in Valley organized retail theft spree of $24,000