YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Maywood police teamed up with their Los Angeles colleagues and Edgewater detectives to nab two people tied to a shoplifting ring that stretched from coast to coast.
Maywood police had taken a report of the couple shoplifting $800 worth of fragrances from the Ulta store in the Bergen Towne Center last Tuesday when management at the Ulta branch in Edgewater reported what they believed to be a similar incident.
Edgewater police found Claudia Sepulveda, 30 ( above, left ), of Los Angeles, and 21-year-old Nicholas Salvador Rusel of Van Nuys ( above, right ) in the parking lot of the River Road store, Maywood Police Chief David Pegg said.
They were carrying a lined bag that’s used to thwart anti-theft devices, he said.
Although they apparently didn’t remove merchandise from the Edgewater store, the couple had proceeds from the Maywood theft, as well as good stolen from stores in Clifton, East Brunswick, Marlboro and Howell Township.
Surveillance cameras at the Towne Center store “showed a female taking 8 bottles and placing them into a bag, and a male watching as a lookout,’ Pegg said.
After sending out alert notifications, Maywood detectives were contacted by police in Los Angeles. The couple “had been involved in large-scale shoplifting operations in Los Angeles and San Bernardino,” the chief said.
Investigators followed Sepulveda and Russel to Utah before the couple ended up in New Jersey, “shoplifting in large high-end stores along the way,” he said.
Maywood police charged the couple with shoplifting and both they and Edgewater police charged them with possession of an antishoplifting device.
Meanwhile, they were being held on $5,000 each in the Bergen County Jail.
Charges were pending from other New Jersey police departments.
MUGSHOTS, TOP: Courtesy MAYWOOD PD
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