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Four more arrests of suspects in organized retail theft effort
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Just days after a Manteca Police Department pilot program nabbed a pair of organized retail thieves that had struck multiple stores throughout the South County, four additional people were taken into custody for the costly crime.

On Feb. 18 – less than a week after the announcement that a couple had been taken into custody for organized retail theft – a loss prevention officer from JC Penney in Manteca had contacted Detective Dave Brown about a possible theft in progress.

Not long after, 30-year-old Stockton resident Vivian Jasmine Arias was observed running from the store with merchandise that she did not pay for and was apprehended by law enforcement officers that were waiting outside. Three other individuals – 23-year-old Patrick Isaac Estrada of Stockton, 19-year-old Stockton resident Jose Luis Quiroz Jr., and 20-year-old Manteca resident Aliyah Marie Lewis-Bation – were waiting in a vehicle and were taken into custody.

All four individuals were charged with felony counts of organized retail theft, burglary, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

All four have subsequently been released from the San Joaquin County Jail.

Brown was reportedly on patrol in the vicinity when he was contacted about the potential crime – something that Manteca Police officers have been doing since the number of organized retail theft cases across Northern California began to rise.

The pilot program, which was founded after a rash of these crimes not just in Manteca but across the region and the wider North State, is aimed at both preventing the crimes before they happen and identifying those known to be responsible.

“People who are a part of ORC groups inflict massive losses to our local businesses which ultimately leads to increased prices for all us consumers as these losses are passed onto all of us,” the Manteca Police said in a statement announcing the formation of the pilot program after its first big success. “In addition, the tax dollars are taken from our community. Those who work in retail are confronted with violence and conflict during their employment.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.