GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A grand jury has indicted two people on allegations they participated in an organized retail theft operation, stealing close to $10,000 from local Safeway stores.
Grant William Arnold and Megan Christine Gomes both entered not-guilty pleas in Multnomah County Circuit Court Monday and were arraigned on the 12 count indictment.
The joint investigation between Safeway Loss Prevention and the Gresham Police Department started earlier this year, police said.
Gresham Police Detective Brandon Crate said Gomes and Arnold were taking personal hygiene products and other small, but expensive items that could be easily hidden.
Some of the stolen items recovered include teeth whitening strips, electronic toothbrush heads, vitamins, and Rogaine.
Court records show some of the thefts from area Safeway stores occurred between July 8 and August 18, 2014.
Selling items online
Police said Arnold and Gomes were selling the items online.
Police declined to release specifics about the investigation, citing the on-going nature of the case.
In previous organized retail theft cases, Gresham police said suspects are known to steal products that are expensive and used by almost every person, including brand name laundry detergent, toothpaste and even food. Other cases have involved individuals selling the stolen items on the black market.
Deputy district attorney Ross Caldwell said the indictment was originally filed September 19, 2014.
Court records show Arnold and Gomes live together in Milwaukie. He has lived in the metro for his entire life. Arnold told court staff that he is unemployed and does not receive state benefits, records show.
Gomes has a pending case out of Clackamas County for second-degree theft, records show. She also told court staff that she has stable part time employment.
Their next court date has been set for Nov. 17, 2014.
Anyone with information on suspected organized retail theft is asked to call the Gresham Police tip line at 503-618-2719.