wilmette

3 Charged in ‘Sophisticated’ $2M Chicago-Area Retail Theft Ring

Wilmette police

Three Chicago-area men are facing felony charges after an undercover investigation revealed an alleged retail theft ring and confiscated about $2 million worth of stolen products.

Esam Abdelhavez, 42, and 33-year-old Mostfa Abdelmalek Abdelhaviz are each charged with continuing a financial crimes enterprise and money laundering, according to Wilmette police. Hany Abdelhavez, 31, is charged with felony theft in addition to money laundering.

On Monday, authorities executed eleven search warrants in Chicago and one in Oak Park resulting in the recovery of an estimated $2 million worth of retail products and evidence of a “sophisticated” criminal enterprise, police said.

Merchandise stolen from stores throughout the Chicago area were brought to the trio, who bought the stolen items and took them to various locations across Chicago and one in Oak Park, police said.

There, they allegedly removed identifying store information from the products and sold them online for profit, police said. The group allegedly opened accounts at multiple banks to hide the profits and used the money to buy homes and continue their criminal operation.

The charges come at the conclusion of an 11-month investigation by Wilmette police and the CVS Organized Retail Crime Team, police said.

The trio identified themselves as brothers but authorities were unable to confirm the claim, police said.

They are being held on $150,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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