Polk deputies break up retail theft ring - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk deputies break up retail theft ring

Posted: Updated:
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Polk County Sheriff's Deputies have broken up a large retail theft ring that involved 18 people. 

Sheriff Grady Judd says Malynda Ford, 35 of Spoonbill Ct. in Lakeland, was the ringleader and the 17 others assisted her, mainly returning the items.

"Just on average, from a one day snapshot of us following Malynda around, and watching the returners ... a one-day snapshot tells us this one group would average $350,000 to $400,000 a year in theft," said Sheriff Judd. "When you look at the size of this operation, for only a 30-day period, we're staggered."

Judd said Ford did most of the stealing, and would sometimes conceal the items by hiding them on her body, then get other people to return the goods for refunds or refunds cards.

"She had the ability to conceal property more easily than other people," Judd said. "She didn't take the entire department store out but she could take a portion of it out. She would take six, seven, shirts … 10 shirts at a time."

Investigators believe others were involved because of a limit of returns.

"She had to have a team of people so she could rotate them through the stores," Judd said.

Judd seemed agitated that some of those arrested appeared to know how to dodge the criminal justice system.

"Some of these folks have told us that they more often target stores where there is a Notice to Appear Policy rather than a pro-arrest policy," Judd said. "There are a lot of law enforcement agencies that give NTA's or Notices to Appear for Retail theft. They don't take them to jail. They just give them a court date and recover the property whenever store security has caught them and everybody goes along their way."

He said Polk County has a policy of "take them to jail."

"My message to all law enforcement agencies is please take them all to jail because we're not dealing with somebody who has just stolen a shirt many times," he said. "We're dealing with potentially organized retail theft."

Here are those facing charges:

Malynda Ford, 3916 Spoonbill Ct., Lakeland; organized Dealing in Stolen Property, Grand Theft

Julian Betard, 3916 Spoonbill Ct., Lakeland; 2 counts Dealing in Stolen Property

Shawnda Knight, 1104 Bartow Rd., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Qulyshia Adams, 5320 Serena Dr., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Gerard O'Neal, 1819 Kendrick Lane, Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Lanecia Adams, 1858 Grand Bay Cr. #102, Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Chanice Abrams, 933 Beech Ave., Lakeland; 3 counts Dealing in Stolen Property

Taurus Morris, 415 5th St., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Ray A Morris, 5230 Wood Circle, Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Kareita Green, 2911 Chabett Ave., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Erica Davis, 933 Beech Ave., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Daiquiri Willis, 830 Augusta St., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Darrell Love, 2850 Eight Iron Dr., Lakeland; 1 count dealing in Stolen Property and Violation of Probation

Elula E Cook, 5995 Beckworth Ave., Bartow; 1 count Organized Dealing in Stolen Property, 1 count Trafficking in Hydrocodone and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Terry F King, 1035 Baycrest Dr., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Britney Watts, 501 Hartsell Ave., Lakeland; 1 count Dealing in Stolen Property

Kristy Rushing, 813 Ellerbe Way, Lakeland; 2 counts Dealing in Stolen Property

Yolanda King, 1306 Fairbanks St. Lakeland; 2 counts Dealing in Stolen Property

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @wflatampa

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Home Depot probing 'Unusual Activity' after reports of data breach

    Home Depot probing 'Unusual Activity' after reports of data breach

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:55:41 GMT
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a massive credit card breachHome Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a massive credit card breach
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to have suffered a massive credit card breach, the company confirmed on Tuesday, after Krebs on Security reported that a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to have suffered a massive credit card breach, the company confirmed on Tuesday, after Krebs on Security reported that a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.
  • Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:54 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:54:32 GMT
    File Photo: Nick CongletonFile Photo: Nick Congleton
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:45:21 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Legoland unveils new character corner

    Legoland unveils new character corner

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:27 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:27:56 GMT
    Photo: Legoland Florida ResortPhoto: Legoland Florida Resort
    On Tuesday, Legoland has announced a new way for guests to meet and mingle with their favorite Lego characters, titled Buddy's Character Corner!
    On Tuesday, Legoland has announced a new way for guests to meet and mingle with their favorite Lego characters, titled Buddy's Character Corner!
  • Dead fish creating problems on Honeymoon Island

    Dead fish creating problems on Honeymoon Island

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:24:04 GMT
    Red Tide spotted on the shore of Honeymoon Island.Red Tide spotted on the shore of Honeymoon Island.
    Scattered on the shore of Honeymoon Island in Pinellas county are hundreds of dead fish.Park rangers started noticing the fish wash on shore on Friday, just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year."In some spots it scattered and as you move up north on the beach it's up in the hundreds of fish," said park manager Pete Krulder.
    Scattered on the shore of Honeymoon Island in Pinellas county are hundreds of dead fish.Park rangers started noticing the fish wash on shore on Friday, just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year."In some spots it scattered and as you move up north on the beach it's up in the hundreds of fish," said park manager Pete Krulder.
  • Largo teacher arrested for DUI in Labor Day crash

    Largo teacher arrested for DUI in Labor Day crash

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:42:58 GMT
    A Largo middle school teacher was charged with DUI on Monday after being involved in a five-car crash.
    A Largo middle school teacher was charged with DUI on Monday after being involved in a five-car crash.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:07 GMT
    File photo of Bubba the Love Sponge ClemFile photo of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
  • Teen accused of killing, dismembering mother's body

    Teen accused of killing, dismembering mother's body

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:48:37 GMT
    Tyrese LandrumTyrese Landrum
    A Lee County teenager is behind bars, accused of killing his own mother and hiding her body parts around the home.
    A Lee County teenager is behind bars, accused of killing his own mother and hiding her body parts around the home.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:58:28 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.