Simi Valley police say they and several other law enforcement agencies have brought down what they describe as a prolific organized retail theft ring responsible for stealing thousands of dollars worth or merchandise from scores of stores throughout Southern California.
In late August of this year, the theft ring struck the CVS store in the 3900 block of Cochran Street in Simi Valley stealing more than $1,000 worth of makeup, hair products, and over the counter medications.
Over the next couple of months, police say they were able to identify the leader of the theft ring as 28-year-old Derrick Taylor of Los Angeles.
Detectives say Taylor is a career criminal who was out on bail when he allegedly committed the Simi Valley theft.
They say their investigation revealed that Taylor and his crew were allegedly involved in the theft of merchandise from approximately 58 stores in the region including Walgreens, CVS, and Riteaid.
Simi police say that on November 19th, Taylor and his group allegedly stole $5,000 worth of merchandise from 13 stores in Bakersfield in one day.
With the help of the Ventura County Auto Theft Task Force and the CHP, a surveillance had been established on Taylor.
As he and his crew were heading back to Los Angeles they were stopped and arrested in Hollywood.
In addition to Taylor, officers arrested 29-year-old Andrew Clark, 29-year-old Chantinaya McClelland, and 27-year-old Antonisha Macknight, all from Los Angeles.
They were all booked into the Ventura County Jail for Organized Retail Theft and Grand Theft.
Also, the authorities recovered all the items taken in the November 19th crime spree in Bakersfield.