Three East Bay sisters landed in jail just before Christmas after police say they stole about $300,000 worth of goods from stores across the Bay Area in a case they dubbed “Pinch a Grinch.”
Most of the grab and runs happened around Christmas at the Southland Mall. They stole racks and racks of new clothes, warm jackets, sweatshirts, appliances and even a kitchen air mixer –and they sold them at huge discounts.
“This crime was very bold,” said Claudia Mau from the Hayward Police Department. “It could be determined items were stolen with price tags from the stores and sensors.”
Southland Mall asked police for help last summer when grab and runs involved assaults on employees. Law enforcement throughout the Bay Area helped with the investigation and police said the case led them to three sisters: 27-year-old Jessica Rodriguez, 24-year-old Jessenia Rodriguez and 33-year-old Norma Rodriguez.
Police said they operated out of two Oakland homes with items from 18 stores including Target, Walmart, Victoria Secrets, Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Surveillance video revealed entire families purchasing the stolen merchandise, police said, and property was also sold on Facebook marketplace.
“It’s a lot of stuff,” said shopper Epi Arenal.
Those who saw the video seemed surprised families would buy the stolen goods.
“Sometimes you buy something not what you thought, if it’s not legal, you can’t go to cops, that’s the problem,” Arenal said.
Police say the sisters were recruiting groups of thieves and this is an ongoing case.
Authorities ask anyone with information contact the Hayward Police Department.