Organized theft ring brought down in 'Operation Makeup Or Breakup'

A six-month investigation called ‘Operation Makeup Breakup' led to the take down of an organized retail theft ring in the Valley.

The investigation was a joint operation between the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office that resulted in the recovery of more than $500,000 in stolen goods.

Three women were indicted. They were identified as Alejandra Reyes-Torres, Guadalupe Gamez-Moreno and Jennifer Zazueta-Reyes, Phoenix PD and Maricopa County announced in a joint press conference

Two of the defendants are from Phoenix while the third is from Tonopah. 

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22-year-old Jennifer Zazueta-Reyes

The investigation started as a tip from a shoplifter who admitted to stealing high-end makeup products that were resold to the three women who were indicted, according to a release.

From there, the women would sell the stolen goods through online sales platforms and other avenues based out of their homes in the West Valley.

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Stolen goods recovered by Phoenix PD (Phoenix PD photo)

"We need to pay particular attention to this kind of crime - especially when it's at this scale - because it affects everyone's bottom line," County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a release.

"Retailers have to offset their losses, which can mean those of us who are law-abiding citizens pay higher prices."

Mitchell said the investigation was part of MCAO's ‘Safe Shopping’ campaign, launched in November to help curb organized retail crime.

The arrests were announced in a joint press conference with Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan where he said this will deter others from similar crimes.

"My hope is that this sends a strong message that we are committed to investigating and arresting individuals of all crimes, and theft of this magnitude will not be tolerated," Sullivan said in the release.

The official charges against the defendants included running an illicit enterprise and trafficking stolen property, which could result in extended prison time, according to the release.