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Retail Theft/Fencing Suspects Arrested After Investigations by Chicago, Mount Prospect and Orland Park Police

Sat May 25 2013 11:19 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=63041
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Police arrested Mahmoud Yassin, 60, of the 15400 block of Hollywood Drive in Orland Park, and his son, Yassin Yassin, 18, of the same address, on two felony counts of theft. An associate of the men, Numa Shlain, 67, of the 200 block of Woodstone Circle in Buffalo Grove, was charged with one felony count of theft.

A shoplifting arrest in November 2012 in Mount Prospect led to the charges against three people who police learned were running a fencing operation after a gang crimes unit officer questioned the arrested shoplifter. Investigation discovered the buying and selling more than $100,000 in stolen property from shoplifters. The retail theft items were resold in three small stores owned by Mahmoud Yassin located on the northwest side of Chicago and via the Internet.

Police from Mount Prospect, Chicago and Orland Park on Wednesday executed 10 search warrants, confiscating more than $100,000 in cash, five vehicles, stolen merchandise and more than 6,300 packs of cigarettes without proper tax stamps, according to Chicago police.

Police worked with loss prevention personnel from Dominick’s, JC Penney, Walgreens and Wal-Mart to tracking and identifying stolen merchandise. The Chicago police asset forfeiture unit also joined the investigation.

Police recorded individuals posing as shoplifters as they delivered merchandise to Discount Cigarettes in the 2990 of North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. In addition to stolen cigarettes, coffee, cold medicine, razor blades, soda, and teeth whitening strips were negotiated. Many items are commonly stolen items in retail theft incidents across the suburbs. Retailers get hit twice by this crime, because of loss of inventory from the retail theft, and then loss of sales with competition against the lower prices of the fencing operations.

Police raided Discount Cigarettes on Wednesday May 22, 2013. Police also raided School Snack Grocery & Tobacco in the 3936 West School Street, and Euro Communication in the 5359 West Belmont Avenue, where they report they also found numerous stolen products.

The School Snack Grocery & Tobacco location, less than one mile from Discount Cigarettes, had more than 360 packs of stolen cigarettes hidden behind a false wall, according to police.

Police also executed search warrants at the suburban homes of the offenders where stolen items were transported, stored and organized for shipment from their Internet operation. The cars and cash were confiscated as illegal proceeds of the operation, police said.

While the arrest broke up a major operation, there are many operations involving these type of fencing suspects and retail theft suspects. The chief operators typically buy items from desperate shoplifters for low prices, then sell them for half-price, undermining legitimate businesses that play by the rules and pay their taxes.


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Neighborhood of Discount Cigarettes on North Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.


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Neighborhood of School Snack Grocery & Tobacco on West School Street, Chicago.


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Neighborhood of Euro Communication on West Belmont Avenue, Chicago.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: All persons referred to as subjects, defendants, offenders or suspects, etc. are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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