Two plead guilty in statewide ring

Two men have pleaded guilty to their role in an organized retail theft ring that struck stores all over the state following a two-year investigation, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday.

The duo operated within the ring from September 2020 and February 2021, stealing more than $1 million in jewelry from many JCPenney and Sam’s Club stores in nine California counties, Bonta said. Both were sentenced to 16 months in state prison.

In a statement from the Department of Justice, authorities said a third person was charged with retail theft and child endangerment. Investigators allege they found an illegal assault weapon in the presence of a 9-year-old child.

A fourth person in the ring also has been charged with retail theft, authorities said.

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