Four people who described themselves as a Polish "gypsy family" have been arrested for orchestrating a nationwide shoplifting ring netting more than $3 million.
Ausra Bauzinskaite, 34; Adeliya Nassybullina, 30; Lukasz Karasinski, 37; and Przemyslaw Skiba, 31, stand accused of stealing mostly electronics, largely hard drives, from Apple, Microsoft, Best Buy, Costco, PetSmart, Sams Club, Sports Authority and Walmart, the Orange County Register reports.
The group has been referred to as the "Apple shoplifting ring" because it allegedly stole more than $20,000 worth of Apple items, CBS reports. The alleged thefts took place largely in Southern California, across Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as in Colorado, Florida and Washington.
The suspects, who are Chicago residents, told police they took the merchandise to pay $2 million worth of family debt, NBC reports. It took a four-month surveillance operation by the Torrance police to crack the operation.
The family members were arrested Mar. 7 in Hawthorne, Calif.
During the thefts, the men would allegedly take items from shelves and pass them to the women, who would hide it inside their purses and oversized dresses and overcoats, the Daily Breeze reports.
"They are only in the store for about two to three minutes," Torrance Police Sgt. Robert Watt said. "They are conspiring together. ... They all appear to have some kind of role.
Each suspect has pleaded not guilty. They are facing multiple counts of conspiracy to commit commercial burglary and grand theft.