Four suspects were charged for allegedly stealing over $1 million worth of items from Microsoft facilities throughout Southern and Central California.
The alleged thefts included tons of Xbox and Acer products that were stolen off cargo trucks departing from Microsft shipping facilities, according to the California Attorney General’s Office.
The suspects were identified as Jorge Alberto Soto, Norlan Jose Cruz Montenegro, Jose Daniel Mayen Ortiz and Byron Noe Tercero Cruz, on court documents. Their ages were not released.
From February through June 2022, the suspects targeted trucks in multiple counties including Los Angeles, Kern, Tulare and Tehama, officials said.
Two suspects were arrested in Northridge on Feb. 2, while two other suspects remain at large, authorities said.
Officials say the thieves’ mobile devices confirmed they were present during the various cargo thefts.
In addition to the stolen merchandise, authorities also seized additional stolen electronics and cash during the investigation.
The two suspects were charged with multiple counts of felony grand theft, conspiracy, and organized retail theft, along with a white-collar enhancement, court documents said.
“Retail theft – whether from a storefront or a warehouse – hurts retailers, businesses, and the public,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “My office and our partners statewide continue to make arrests and file charges against those conducting brazen theft and targeting businesses in California, sending a strong message that this criminal activity will not be tolerated in our state.”
Authorities are cracking down on the troubling rise of large-scale retail thefts across California and the nation in recent years.
According to a 2020 national survey, U.S. retailers lose approximately about $700,000 per every $1 billion in sales to organized retail crime, officials said.