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Retail Theft Ring Busted

State Police with the assistance of local and federal agencies have broken up an ongoing retail theft ring involving hundreds of stolen items from Walmart being sold on E-Bay.

Homes searched in Bangor, Bucksport and Frankfort Thursday netted over $240,000 in cash, as well as a large number of stolen items . No one has yet been charged in connection with the theft ring, but police plan to consult the district attorney’s offices  and charges are likely.  The Walmarts targeted were in Palmyra, Bangor, Brewer and Ellsworth.

An investigation led by State Police Detective Chris Tupper of the Computer Crimes Unit and Trooper Chris Crawford uncovered the  criminal enterprise run by a man from his home in Bucksport and  a woman from her home in Frankfort.  The man was buying stolen merchandise and then selling the items on-line.  The man and his girlfriend were living in an apartment at 165 Main Street in Bucksport where a large quantity of suspected stolen merchandise was recovered.   In addition, the house in Frankfort was being used as a storage location for some of the stolen items and cash.  Seized from that Frankfort home was over $100,000 in cash, along with bars of silver.  Found in a safe deposit box at a Bucksport bank was another $140,000.

Although not charged in connection with the theft ring, the resident of the house in Frankfort was arrested Thursday after she brandished a handgun at Troopers and federal agents who were serving the search warrant.  67 year old Jane Tardiff of 27 Yeager Road was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and taken to the Waldo County Jail in Belfast where she was later released on bail. Among the stolen items being sold on E-Bay were Star War Legos, Crest white strips, Nicorette gum, razor blades, and animal flea and tick treatments.  Among the items seized were dozens of boxes of Legos and white strips, archery equipment and a 46” television.

Information gathered from the searches in Bucksport and Frankfort later led investigators to Bangor, where search warrants were served at a home  and a pawn shop.

Other agencies assisting State Police have been Bangor and Bucksport Police, Homeland Security Investigations, Walmart Global investigators and Maine Welfare Fraud investigators.

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