Two California women accused of taking thousands of dollars in merchandise from retail stores in Phoenix, Gilbert, Glendale, Queen Creek, Anthem and Scottsdale have been indicted, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
During four separate trips from Orange County to the Valley in September and October, Ishanae Morgan Turner and Devony Candy Reneau are alleged to have removed products from 12 cosmetic, pharmacy and grocery businesses, according to MCAO.
After their alleged final theft on Oct. 24, officials said, police spotted them and attempted to make a traffic stop. The duo sped away, jumped out of the car and fled on foot prior to their arrest.
“On a short trip to Phoenix, these women did a great deal of damage,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said.
“These were not one-off cases. We are not talking about shoplifting. These defendants took time to carefully plan what they intended to do, which is the essence of organized crime.”
Both defendants also were identified as suspects in other organized retail theft incidents in California and Nevada, and both have prior convictions, MCAO officials said in a release.
Turner stands indicted on 12 felony counts of organized retail theft and one felony count of unlawful flight from law enforcement. Reneau’s indictment includes 10 felony counts of organized retail theft, according to the release.
Mitchell last year created the Organized Retail Theft Taskforce at MCAO.
One of its aims is to have a greater communication and collaboration among law enforcement and retailers in Maricopa County.
“Unchecked, this is the kind of activity that becomes rampant in big cities, and I am simply not willing to tolerate it here,” Mitchell said.
“My office stands ready to prosecute these cases and send a clear message to thieves, and to their larger criminal organizations, that we will catch you and hold you accountable.”