“Two Houston men have been charged in a scheme to steal more than $56,000 in jeans including more than 100 pairs of jeans in Southeast Texas.
Ramirez Nava Rodriguez, 41, and Jose Isabel Del Angel, 54, both of Houston, have been charged with felony charges of “Theft – Aggregate” according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by 12News from the Harris County District Court.
Del Angel, whose bond is set at $2000 was arrested on August 6, 2016 and it is unknown if Rodriquez has been arrested. Rodriguez bond will be set at $10,000 according to the affidavit.
The pair are suspected of stealing 980 pairs of men’s and women’s Levis jeans, valued at $56,722, from JC Penny stores in the Harris County and surrounding area including the Central Mall location in Port Arthur..
The thefts took place from December 2012 through July 2016 with the two most recent thefts taking place at Central Mall.
The affidavit alleges that Rodriguez stole the bulk of the jeans and Del Angel helped sell them at a Houston flea market.
Police believe that Rodriguez was the leader of a group of “professional boosters” who were committing the thefts.
The document alleges that on July 2, 2016 Rodriguez stole 64 pairs of jeans valued at $3918 and on July 30, 2016, he stole 44 pairs valued at $2552 from the JC Penny store in Central Mall.
Rodriquez was observed surveillance video using the “matador” method to commit the thefts using a shirt to hide several pairs of jeans at a time from store associates the affidavit said.
He would take the jeans out the camera’s range, use a tool to remove the “electronic Article Surveillance tag” and then put the jeans into a large JC Penny bag he had concealed in his pants pocket.
He would then take the stolen jeans to his car and repeat the process several times during one trip.
An investigator from JC Penny worked with Houston Police to track and capture the suspects.
The store’s investigator and an undercover Houston Police officer each purchased stolen jeans from Del Angel at separate times at Sunny Flea Market in the 8700 block of Airline Drive in Houston.”