Suspects in an shoplifting ring accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and gift cards from local stores were busted while in the act Monday, Murrieta police said.
Ringleader Brittany Hysom, 27, Devone Molina, 19, and Jessica Villalpando, 19, were arrested shortly after 7:30 p.m. Monday when officers were called to Kohl's in Murrieta to investigate a shoplifting in progress, said Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese.
The two women and one man were contacted in the parking lot of , 24661 Madison Ave., in a rental car out of Hemet, the sergeant said, in a news release.
Hysom was caught with an electronic tablet allegedly stolen from Kohl's, while Molina and Villalpando were allegedly found with about 100 return and gift card receipts from Kohl's, Marshall's, Sports Chalet, stores, , , , and , Froboese said.
"In their car was several thousand dollars of shoplifted merchandise from their spree all taken from local stores over the last two days," Froboese said.
Hysom was allegedly found with a book in which she handwrote details of what was stolen on which days, Froboese said.
"The book showed who stole the item, its value and the amount of payment due each suspect for committing the theft," Froboese said. "The book also detailed the profits of the successful returns and gift cards obtained over the last few days."
Murrieta police have contacted Loss Prevention from each of the stores, and expect them to come to the Police Department in the next several days to review receipts, recover their property and try to match video from the day of the theft/return receipt, Froboese said.
Hysom, Molina and Villalpando were arrested on suspicsion of commercial burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime, all felonies. They were all booked at Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, Froboese said.