An Alexandria, Va., man was indicted and arrested last month after a months-long investigation allegedly placed him at the center of a large theft ring operating out of Charles County, according to a news release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Per the release, Det. C. Gilroy of the agency’s Criminal Investigations Division reportedly noticed a marked increase in thefts beginning last fall and so initiated an investigation into “a large-scale organized retail theft ring occurring at several businesses, especially involving printer ink cartridges, and repeated arrests of shoplifters.”
“After three months of following leads, detectives were able to identify the owner of Waldorf RC & Hobbies as a ‘fence,’ taking in large amounts of stolen property from thieves and paying them cash for the stolen items,” the release says. The stolen property was then allegedly sold online by the defendant, store owner Husani Tyson “Tony” West, 42. Search warrants were summarily executed at West’s business in Waldorf, a storage unit on Pierce Road and West’s Virginia home.
“During the searches, a large amount of stolen property was recovered to include hundreds of ink printer cartridges, lawn equipment, televisions, jewelry, fragrances, electronics, tools, breast pumps, clothing, Fitbits, phones, and children’s games,” the release says. “In all, more than $100,000 in stolen property was recovered. Further, it appears West sold over $180,000 worth of suspected stolen property online.”
The search of his house also allegedly returned a Ruger .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. West, who is legally barred from possession of a firearm, was charged in Fairfax County, Va., for the weapon.
In late December, the release says, West was indicted by a Charles County Grand Jury on several counts of theft and theft scheme. He was released from the Charles County Detention Center after posting a $30,000 bond. Online court records do not indicate whether West has yet retained counsel.
A discovery hearing is currently scheduled for Jan. 31. West has a projected trial date of April 20.
Anyone with additional information about this scheme is asked to call Det. Gilroy at 310-609-6484.
Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app.