TORRANCE, Calif. (KTLA) — Police have arrested and charged four family members from Chicago in a nationwide organized theft ring.
The suspects — two men and two women — have been identified as Ausra Bauzinskaite, 34, Adeliya Nassybullina, 30, Lukasz Karasinski, 37, and Przemyslaw Skiba, 31.
They describe themselves as a Polish gypsy family, and they’re accused of carrying out well-planned burglaries at tech stores.
They’re accused in a commercial burglary in Torrance and over 17 additional commercial burglaries throughout Los Angeles County and Orange County.
Torrance investigators later determined that the group was an organized retail theft ring that had targeted stores throughout the country in California, Colorado, Washington and Florida.
Surveillance video shows the suspects allegedly ripping off ‘Mac Mall,’ an electronics store in Torrance.
“They’re entering these businesses. A couple of them are distracting or putting some kind of barrier between the primary person taking the items and the employee at the store,” said Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt.
“They’re concealing hard drives on their person, and they’re leaving the store without paying for anything,” he explained.
Generally, the men would select and maneuver the merchandise into position, where the females would later conceal the items under their over-sized dresses and overcoats.
Torrance investigators located the suspects in Hawthorne on Thursday, March 7.
Coincidentally, they had flown into the area from Chicago for a court appearance in Santa Monica stemming from an earlier retail theft arrest.
Torrance investigators conducted surveillance and observed the subjects commit additional thefts at Apple Stores throughout both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
The stolen items were then mailed to various out of state locations.
During subsequent interviews, the subjects described themselves as being a gypsy family out of Chicago, originating from the country of Poland.
They say they committed the thefts in order to pay off a $2 million dollar debt which their family had incurred several years prior.
Investigators have estimated that since 2009, this group is responsible for approximately $3 million dollars in property theft.
Their targets were retail stores including Apple, Best Buy, Costco, Microsoft, PetSmart, Sams Club, Sports Authority and Wal-Mart.