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Multi-million-dollar Walmart TV return crime ring busted

Police estimate more than $3-million of TVs were stolen
Posted at 1:28 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 16:22:59-05

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A multi-state investigation has resulted in the arrest of two people with several more wanted after a multi-million-dollar crime ring was busted.

According to the Polk County sheriff, two suspects have been arrested, one suspect died of natural causes and two suspects are still at large with warrants for their arrest. There are three more suspects that investigators have yet to identify.

It's all tied to an alleged system where members would go to Walmart and buy large expensive TVs with cash, remove the new TVs and replace them with salvaged TVs. They would then return them for cash, and keep and re-sell the stolen TVs.

Police say the ring operated in at least 13 different states over the course of seven months.

Within the State of Florida, the investigation revealed the ring had hit Walmarts in Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, St John, St. Lucie, Sumter, Volusia, Walton, and Washington Counties.

The investigation shows the criminal organization has been operating since at least 2014.

"Working with Walmart investigators, records show losses to the retailer during the time of this investigation, between August 15, 2019 and ending March 24, 2020, includes approximately 600 fraudulent transactions that resulted in a loss of about $300,000. It was determined that of these losses, $174,542.45 was stolen from Walmart stores located in Florida. Four verified thefts occurred within the jurisdictional boundaries of Polk County, Florida on August 31, 2019, which totaled a loss of $3,552.00."

See security cam footage from one of the stores here.

According to police, it's estimated that the suspects managed to steal around $3.6-million worth of merchandise.

Those arrested are:

Jorge Robert Ortiz, 06/16/1994; Lilburn, GA
Charges:
Use 2-Way Communic.Device to Commit Felony; F3
Obtain Property by Fraud >$50,000; F1
Criminal Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeering Act; F1
Coordinate Others Retail Theft Over 3K$; F2
Racketeering Violation; F1
Cheating or Gross Fraud; F3
Criminal History: Georgia: DWLSR

Chanthan Scott Khouleanghak, 02/02/1981; Duluth, GA
Charges:
Directing Dealing in Stolen Property; F1
Obtain Property by Fraud; F1
Criminal Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeering Act; F1
Cheating or Gross Fraud; F3
Racketeering Violation; F1
Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony; F3
Criminal History: Louisiana: Counterfeiting or Possession Counterfeit Labels, Sale of Improperly Labeled Article, Sound Reproductions w/o Consent; Virginia: Selling or Renting Unlawful Recording Devices, Fail to Show True Manufacturer; Utah: Doing Business w/o License, Telephone Harassment, and Disorderly Conduct

Suspects still wanted:

Jacorri Bentez Holland, 05/10/1984; Columbus, GA
Wanted for the following charges:
Use 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony; F3
Obtain Property by Fraud; F1
Racketeering Violation; F1
Cheating or Gross Fraud; F3
Criminal Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeering Act; F1
Coordinate Others Retail Theft Over 3K$; F2
Criminal History: Georgia: Upbraiding or Insulting a Teacher or Bus Driver, Marijuana Possession, Possession of Controlled Counterfeit Substance Near Housing Project, Theft by Receiving, Possession of Cocaine, Sales of Cocaine

Michelle Maki Walker, 03/19/1990; Columbus, GA 31901
Wanted for the following charges:
Use 2-Way Communic.Device to Commit
Unlawful use of a two-way communications device; F3
Criminal Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeering Act; F1
Obtain Property by Fraud; F1
Racketeering Violation; F1
Cheating or Gross Fraud; F3
Criminal History: Tennessee: Criminal Impersonation, Theft/Larceny; Georgia: Forgery, Theft by Shoplifting, Financial Transaction Card Fraud, Marijuana, DWLSR, Theft by Deception

Suspect: (Deceased):

Eric Eugene Grigsby, 03/31/1972; College Park, GA
Criminal History: Georgia: Theft, Trespass, Carry Concealed Weapon, Reckless Conduct, Disorderly Conduct, Forgery, DWLSR, False Name to LEO, Possession of Controlled Drug, Rape, Obstruction, Aggravated Assault, Stalking, Battery, Marijuana Possession