The suspects are identified as Jerikson Pena, 35, of the unit block of Amberson Avenue, Yonkers, NY, Nelson Hidalgo, 35, of the 200-block of West 233rd Street, Bronx, NY, and Juan Linares, 34, of the 200 block of West 232nd Street, Bronx, NY. Investigators have charged all three suspects with theft under$10,000 and theft scheme. Hidalgo was also charged with two counts of possession/use of a false government identification. Pena is awaiting his initial hearing before a court commissioner. Hidalgo is being held at the Cecil County Detention Center on a $5,000.00 bail. Linares was released pending trail after posting a $2,500.00 bail. Additional charges are pending.
Just after 3:00 p.m. yesterday, troopers received a call for a theft in progress at the Walmart located in the North East Plaza, North East, Md. The asset protection associate at Walmart advised three males were altering the bar codes to obtain a much lower price than the actual price.
As troopers were responding, Walmart personnel advised the three male suspects were leaving the store. They were able to provide descriptions of the males and the vehicle they were using. Troopers located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. During contact with the occupants, troopers observed several Walmart grocery bags in the vehicle.
The personnel from Walmart confirmed the items were purchased using fraudulent bar codes to mask the accurate price of the products. The three males were placed under arrest by troopers at that time.
A search warrant was requested and granted to investigators to further examine items in the vehicle. The search revealed several high price items that were later identified as being stolen using fraudulent bar codes. Additional receipts were located from Walmart and other department stores in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
Criminal investigators believe the items being stolen were being sold and shipped for a higher price. Various packing items were found in the vehicle. Investigators are still reviewing evidence collected and making notification to other stores that may have been victimized.
Maryland State Police investigators are asking if anyone has any information regarding this theft scheme to please contact Trooper First Class James Pettit at 410-996-7800. The investigation is ongoing…