Thousands of pieces of high-end clothing stolen from Glendale stores were seized this week from the home of a 25-year-old Los Angeles man who police say was selling the items in Mexico.
The man, Joel Peña, has been charged with three felony counts of burglary and three felony counts of grand theft in connection with stolen clothing, which police valued at roughly $19,000, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
Police say Peña was working with a theft ring to sell the clothes in Mexico, although they have yet to identify other members of the ring, said Glendale Police Sgt. Kevin Hirano.
The clothes still had store tags from Macy's, a Disney store, H&M;, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and Aeropostale, he added.
Police believe Peña may have been stealing clothes for at least five years because that's when one store identified him as "a person of interest," Hirano said.
Peña was arrested April 26 after he allegedly made off with 47 shirts from Macy's after being chased away by loss-prevention workers.
After a short foot pursuit, he was eventually arrested by police at Hawthorne Street and Pacific Avenue, Hirano said.
Officers also recovered the stolen shirts, which Hirano said were valued at $2,500.
Hirano said that on April 2 a Macy's employee noticed that 90 pairs of jeans — valued at more than $5,000 — were missing from a display.
Workers reviewed surveillance video and reportedly saw Peña stealing the jeans. Peña allegedly used a shopping bag to conceal the stolen clothing over the course of several trips, Hirano added.
About three weeks later, Peña was spotted again stealing another 45 pairs of jeans, Hirano said.
Some of the stolen jeans that were seized were valued at $298 each, which Hirano said could be sold on the black market for at least $50.