Statewide crime ring disrupted in Westfield

Photo courtesy: MGNonline
Photo courtesy: MGNonline

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Two members of an apparent ring of retail thieves have been arraigned in Westfield District Court after members of the group plied their trade at a city store.

Det. Anthony Tsatsos reports that four of five women who stole designer purses with an estimated valued of $4,000 from the T.J. Maxx store have been identified. Two were taken into custody and were arraigned in Westfield District Court.

In a court document, Tsatsos states that the women are “part of a group for the Dorchester/Roxbury area that is involved in retail theft.”

He reports that the group entered the store together on the afternoon of May 21 carrying large tote bags and some also took shopping carts on their way to the display of purses where they removed many designer bags from the racks and placed them in the tote bags or simply carried the bags away.

Tsatsos reports that four of the women gathered near the exit and the fifth approached the customer service desk to distract the employee there as they left the store.

The detective found that inspection of the security video from the West Springfield and Springfield T.J. Maxx stores showed the same women had stolen purses in the West Springfield store but staff at the Springfield store had deterred the women when they attempted a similar theft there.

“In the span of two hours these parties completed larcenies in Westfield and W. Springfield, and attempted a third in Springfield,” Tsatsos reports.

He found that the next day numerous purses and a pair of shoes, with a total value of $1,189.92, were returned to the T.J. Maxx store in Dorchester. As the people making the returns had no receipts for the items, they were required to provide positive identification so specific individuals were linked to specific purses stolen in Westfield and “returned” in Dorchester.

A short time after items which had been stolen in Westfield were returned to the Dorchester store, purses and handbags valued at $2,261.92 were stolen from the Framingham store in the chain and Framingham police arrested two women, Jamie L. King, 27, of 248 Fuller St., Dorchester, and Shannon L. King, 29, of 18 Msgr. Lyden Way, Dorchester.

Both women were identified as members of the group which stole in Westfield and two of the others, although not taken into custody, were identified.

Tsatsos reports that Jamie King’s criminal history includes 28 entries for offenses including distribution of a Class A drug, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unarmed robbery.

Shannon King’s history includes offenses such as larceny, forgery and uttering.

One of the two women identified as a suspect but not found has a history of offenses including receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a Class B drug and assault and battery. The other has four open armed robbery cases in Suffolk Superior Court, Tstatso reports.

Both Jamie King and Shannon King were arraigned in Westfield District Court before Judge Patricia T. Poehler yesterday on a charge of larceny of property valued more than $250 and both will return to court for a hearing Aug. 6.

Jamie L. King was held in lieu of $1,000 cash bail while Shannon L. King was released on her personal recognizance.

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Media Credit: The Westfield News

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