Four Romanian nationals have been arrested and charged in connection with organized retail theft in Pasadena, authorities announced Wednesday.
A section of the Pasadena Police Department aimed to combat retail theft and vehicle burglaries recently focused their attention at a Macy’s on 401 S. Lake Avenue.
On Sept. 8 detectives closely monitored four people who they believe were “methodically choosing high value clothing items,” police detailed in a news release.
The suspects allegedly concealed items by hiding behind each other. They eventually left the store without paying for any of the items, police said.
Detectives tried to arrest the suspects, but they managed to get away. Then, after a brief foot chase, three of the suspects were apprehended, but the fourth tried to get away and allegedly tried to drive a vehicle into an officer’s vehicle.
“To stop the suspect’s attempt to flee, one of the officers employed an intervention technique,” police detailed in the release. “Despite the suspect’s efforts to accelerate away, another officer successfully disabled the suspect’s vehicle, leading to the apprehension of the fourth suspect.”
No officers were injured during the incident and subsequent arrests.
The suspects were eventually charged.
Vasile Alberto Balan was charged with one count of grand theft. His bail was set at $300,000, police said. Balan had an outstanding no-bail warrant from Las Vegas.
Additionally, Sorin Marin Stefan, Mihaela Simion, and Cosmin Lucian Cismary were each charged with one count of grand theft. Their bail was set at $250,000 each.
The suspects are from Romania and investigators believe they entered the country using fraudulent visas. They apparently had been deported back to Romania before returning to the U.S.
Detectives are also looking into the suspects’ involvement in other thefts in the region, more than 15, Lt. Carolyn Gordon said. They have been able to connect the suspects to thefts across Los Angeles and Orange Counties, as well as Clark County in Nevada.
During a news conference Wednesday, authorities released booking photos of the suspects, along with video of the theft and the suspect who initially got away.
Anyone with additional information about the suspects is encouraged to call the Pasadena Police at 626-744-4241.