Three New Yorkers, who Fairfax County police said were members of yet another retail theft organization targeting Tysons Corner Center, were arrested Monday after allegedly ransacking several of the mall’s stores.
Sunglass Hut employees contacted the mall’s Tysons Urban Team — a special unit assigned to cover the mall — about a theft shortly after 9 p.m., police said.
After reviewing surveillance footage, officers arrested 20-year-old Jordan Pastrana-Roncancio, 19-year-old Dayana Valentina Pastana-Roncancio, and 20-year-old Hansbleidy Katerin Sanabria-Suarez.
Around $15,000 worth of stolen merchandise was recovered, police said, taken not only from Sunglass Hut, but other mall businesses including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret and more.
Jordan Pastrana-Roncancio is facing charges of larceny with intent to sell, conspiracy to commit larceny, two counts of grand larceny and petit larceny.
Both Dayana Valentina Pastana-Roncancio and Sanabria-Suarez were charged with two counts of grand larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and larceny with intent to sell.
Third such arrest at Tysons in less than a week, police say
First Lt. William Arnest, with Fairfax County police, told WTOP that this is the third retail theft group from New York targeting Tysons in the last five days.
Last week, another trio from New York was arrested after police said they tried to make a $21,000 purchase at the Louis Vuitton store using a stolen credit card.
Another theft group from New York was arrested Monday, with police recovering $8,000 worth of merchandise, Arnest said.
Why so many New Yorkers? Arnest said the city is a “major market for stolen goods,” which could be part of the reason.
Tysons isn’t the only target, Arnest said.
“A lot of times, when we catch these crews, we see that they’ve stolen items from stores up and down (Interstate) 95,” said Arnest.
“Almost all” of the groups arrested are traveling in cars, according to Arnest — not via train or bus — and Tysons “is one of the places that really sticks out for its retail” if you’re driving on the highway.
The Tysons Urban Team specializes in catching shoplifters, Arnest said, but “the fraud schemes are what gets more complicated” — including the use of fake driver’s licenses, stolen credit cards and other forms of identity theft.
Despite the trend, Arnest said he is “fairly optimistic” that police and retailers can work together and find a solution to the issue.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a breakthrough here and stores will be able to keep a lot less of these products from being stolen in the future,” he said. “Or, you know, different pieces of technology that allow us to catch people making their living off of stealing and selling items that are stolen.”
Possible technologies might include improved security tags on goods, and camera systems that use artificial intelligence, Arnest added.