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Two men arrested for at least 70 retail thefts in San José

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Jaime Flores, Thomas Sapinoso, Systematic thefts, San José, California
Two men arrested for retail thefts in San José (Photo: San José Police Department)
  • Two men arrested for retail thefts at 70 stores.
  • They hit retailers like Target and Nike.
  • The investigation is ongoing.

Two men sparked terror and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from stores like Target, NIKE, REI, Best Buy and Dicks Sporting Goods in San José, in California.

Jaime Flores, 46, and Thomas Sapinoso, 37, were identified the alleged masterminds and perpetrators of at least 70 retail thefts.

Detectives from the San José Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit made the arrests.

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News, Crimes, Narco World, Impact, MundoNOW
Photo: MundoNOW

According to police records, between July 2023 and January 2024, a series of retail thefts were carried out using the same modus operandi.

«The suspects entered the businesses, took thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, then fled in an awaiting vehicle.»

Month after month the retail thefts, and the stores’ losses, increased.

They continued to report the robberies to police and followed expert recommendations in fighting organized retail theft.

Two men arrested for retail thefts

Crime, Assaults, United States, Target, Hispanics involved in robberies

Photo: San José Police Department

Security cameras captured key images, the detectives collected evidence and, on December 16, 2023, they made their first arrest at Westgate Mall.

«Suspect Flores was taken into custody and booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail,» the official press release details.

After the first arrest, the thefts stopped, but the retailers’ losses by then already exceeded $75,000.

By January 31, 2024, detectives had already identified the second person involved and obtained an arrest warrant, but they were surprised to find that he was already behind bars.

Jaime Flores and Thomas Sapinoso are in custody

men arrested for retail thefts, Jaime Flores, Thomas Sapinoso
Photo: San José Police Department

«Sapinoso was already in custody at the Santa Clara County Main Jail following an arrest by Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety for an unrelated incident,» the SJPD press release states.

The suspects remain in custody, charged with organized retail theft, as the investigation continues.

«Our police department is working hard to make sure our business owners and shoppers are safe, and that those who are committing crimes are held accountable,» San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said at a news conference.

“This is just the first example of ORTD’s great work and their positive impact in our City,” said San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata.

Police are committed to find all of the thieves

men arrested for retail thefts, crime, shoplifting
Photo: San José Police Department

To advance the investigation, the Organized Retail Theft Detail is funded by an $8.4 million grant awarded to the SJPD by the California Board of State and Community Corrections, authorities explained.

“The additional resources provided by the Retail Theft Grant San Jose received are starting to show results — but it’ll take more than one grant to get to the root of the problem,” Mayor Mahan said.

Based on their evidence, detectives believe that there are more people involved in thefts.

For that reason the investigation will remain active and the community can contact 408-277-4521 to share any information related to the robberies with investigators.

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