JSO arrests 8 suspects tied to organized retail theft ring as part of 'Operation Loot and Scoot'

Jacksonville, FL — After a two-year investigation, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is announcing the arrest of 8 suspects as part of 'Operation Loot and Scoot.'

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says they've identified 8 suspects who were allegedly involved in an organized retail theft ring operating in the Jacksonville-area, but also stretched out to Tallahassee down to Orlando and even dipped into parts of Georgia.

Williams says the group acted as professional shoplifters, with suspect Antoun Arbaji identified as the ringleader.

Investigators say Arbaji would recruit shoplifters to steal specific items from stores and would pay them. He would then allegedly sell the stolen items online. It's believed he sold at least $300,000 in stolen merchandise online.

Arbaji is facing 79 counts, 63 of which are felonies.

Williams says the group targeted items primarily following under health, beauty, and office supplies, with top items including razors, nicotine gum, and ink cartridges for printers.

"The suspects would enter the stores, and they would, typically, enter out a sizeable box, one that would contain maybe a child seat or some diapers and then they would fill the boxes with stolen merchandise and simply pay for the boxed item... or just walk out of the store without paying anything," explains Williams.

7 of the 8 total suspects have been charged under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Below is the complete list of suspects arrested, along with the sentences they now face:

• Antoun Arbaji - Life + 796 years

• Dantavia Berry - 111 years (mother)

• Deedra Berry - Life + 178 years (daughter)

• Brian Harris - Life + 60 years

• Chiquita Moorehead - 20 years

• Latoya Shurman - Life + 71 years

• Natasha Soukseunchay- Life + 70 Years

• Jennifer Upton - Life + 210 years

JSO says the investigation began with 2 undercover officers back in December 2016, after they were contacted by Walmart, Target, and Winn Dixie.

LIVE JSO News Conference - Sheriff Mike Williams talks about a two year undercover operation - Operation Loot and Scoot results in eight arrests resulting in 148 felony charges - Charged with RICO

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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