3 people arrested for organized retail theft spree across Arizona

Apr 14, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: Apr 15, 2024, 5:30 am

Franchesca Traila (left) and Dorinta Velcu (right) arrested for organized retail theft....

Franchesca Traila (left) and Dorinta Velcu (right) were arrested for organized retail theft. (Photo/Tucson Police)

(Photo/Tucson Police)

PHOENIX — Three people were arrested in connection to a group responsible for organized retail theft across Arizona, authorities said Friday.

The three suspects identified by the Tucson Police Department (TPD) as 27-year-old Dorinta Velcu, 21-year-old Franchesca Traila, and a 16-year-old female. Together, they stole a total $74,363 worth of retail merchandise, according to police.

The trio was charged with felony theft and organized retail theft. Velcu and Traila were booked into the Pima County Jail and have since bonded out. The 16-year-old was cited and released to a family guardian, according to authorities.

The investigation remains ongoing and additional charges are anticipated.

What do police already know?

According to police, the shoplifting crime spree began on March 16 in Mesa. The trio primarily entered Target stores, aiming to swipe high-priced items from the skincare department. Then, using stolen plastic storage totes, the suspects would load beauty items into the bins, and conceal the bins with stolen pieces of clothing. The suspects would then leave the store, load the stolen items into their vehicle, and travel to the next destination to commit another shoplifting.

The police reported 12 of these operations taking place across metro Phoenix and Tucson.

On March 27, authorities say that Target contacted the TPD to report that the shoplifting trio had committed multiple thefts across the Phoenix area. In two days, the group had already accumulated over $35,000 worth of stolen merchandise, as reported by the Mesa Police Department. According to the police report, TPD received intel that the group was most likely traveling from Phoenix to the Tucson area to commit more thefts.

After hitting three stores in the Tucson area, the suspects’ minivan was stopped by Tucson police and all three people were detained, according to the police report.

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3 people arrested for organized retail theft spree across Arizona