Tucson, Arizona – The Tucson Police Department (TPD) has successfully apprehended three individuals who were involved in operating a theft ring at a fast food fried chicken restaurant. This is a commendable effort by law enforcement officers to ensure the safety and security of businesses and their customers.
The investigation into the matter began in December of last year when a shoplifting incident drew the attention of investigators to potential illicit activities involving the restaurant’s staff. TPD detectives, along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents and the affected business’s investigators, conducted an extensive operation that lasted nearly a year.
During the investigation, authorities discovered evidence of a fencing operation where restaurant employees were paying known shoplifters for stolen items. The scheme involved reselling the stolen goods from the employees’ homes and through an online marketplace. TPD identified two addresses, and search warrants were executed on November 29th.
Searches were conducted simultaneously at the fried chicken restaurant and the two residences that were identified. Law enforcement officers recovered thousands of dollars in stolen property, including tools, clothing, shoes, diapers, and electronics. The operation led to the arrest of Lydia Grijalva-Velasquez, Fabian Rodriguez Rios, and Francis Sophia Vasquez. Each suspect faces charges of trafficking in stolen property and has been booked into the Pima County Jail.
The TPD expressed gratitude to federal and local partners for their support in combating this criminal activity. They emphasized the impact of such operations on both retailers and consumers. Through a collaborative effort with Homeland Security Investigations and the impacted business, the Tucson Police Department successfully uncovered a highly so sophisticated theft ring operating within a fried chicken restaurant.
The investigation was extensive, lasting almost a year and involving various surveillance techniques and the execution of search warrants, which led to the discovery of a significant amount of stolen property. The actions of these employees demonstrate the potential for criminal activity within seemingly ordinary establishments, requiring law enforcement agencies to remain vigilant and cooperate. The court proceedings for the three arrested individuals have yet to be scheduled, and the details of the ongoing investigation remain undisclosed.