2 arrested by Montebello police in shoplifting ring bust

MONTEBELLO, Calif. (KABC) -- Two people were arrested by Montebello police following a three-week investigation into a shoplifting ring that allegedly stole more than $500,000 worth of items from Victoria's Secret and JCPenney stores across Southern California.

Loss prevention agents identified Gabriel Contreras, 23, of Highland as a shoplifter. He was arrested at his residence on burglary and grand theft charges in connection to several thefts at Victoria's Secret locations in the Southland.

Authorities served a search warrant at his residence and located a significant amount of clothes, handbags, makeup, perfume and lotions believed to be stolen from a Victoria's Secret and JCPenney store at a shopping mall in Montebello.

During the course of the investigation, Guadalupe Morales, 34, of Riverside was also arrested for possession of stolen property.

Gabriel Contreras, 23, (left) and Guadalupe Morales, 34, (right) were arrested by Montebello police following the conclusion of a three-week investigation.

The estimated total value of the stolen items was placed at $489,000.

An additional $20,000 worth of stolen property from Victoria's Secret and JCPenney's was found at a second location in Riverside. Two women were issued a citation to appear in court for possessing the stolen clothing.

Agents believe the suspects planned to sell the stolen property at local swap meets and out of a residence.
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