Two Chilean nationals charged with organized retail theft in Ventura County pleaded guilty Tuesday, according to District Attorney Erik Nasarenko.
Esperanza Venejas, 25, and Hugo Perez Martinez, 26, pleaded guilty to the charges that stemmed from an April arrest in Thousand Oaks.
The two Chileans were arrested on April 15, after deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a vehicle break-in at the Oaks shopping mall. When deputies arrived on scene, four people, including both Venejas and Martinez, fled the area on foot.
Deputies were able to track down Venejas who was with an unidentified juvenile. Meanwhile, Martinez went back to the vehicle and drove off. He was eventually located and arrested as well.
A bag filled with about $2,500 worth of stolen merchandise from a Macy’s department store was recovered at the scene, the DA’s office said.
Venejas and Martinez both were charged with felony organized retail theft and Martinez received an additional charge for resisting arrest. The DA’s office said the two are believed to be part of a South American organized theft ring.
Both pleaded guilty to their charges Tuesday and remain in custody on a $50,000 bail for Venejas and a $100,000 bail for Martinez. Both are due back in court on June 14, Nasarenko said.