Massachusetts

Alleged Boss of Mass. Shoplifting Crime Ring Indicted by Grand Jury

A video store in Leominster, Adopt A Video, was the center of the shoplifting ring, officials have said

A man accused of running a Massachusetts shoplifting ring of more than 20 people was indicted by a grand jury this week, prosecutors said.

John F. Duplease, Jr., a 68-year-old from Lancaster, was indicted by a Worcester County grand jury on charges including organized retail theft enterprise and aggravated organized retail crime, county prosecutors said Wednesday. Penny Williams, a 43-year-old from Fitchburg, was also indicted, on a charge of organized retail crime.

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Duplease was arrested last May following a local and state police investigation of over a year, prosecutors said.

When Duplease was arrested, officers found about 4,600 of stolen merchandise, including Legos and coffee machines, police said at the time.

A video store he operated in Leominster, Adopt A Video, was the center of the shoplifting ring, officials said at the time, through which Duplease would allegedly buy stolen items for cash, then re-sell them online, pulling in more than $1 million.

Investigators say a video store owner made more than $1 million selling stolen goods online.

Williams worked for Duplease, buying the stolen property and shipping it on to sellers online, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The grand jury indictments of Duplease and Williams moves their cases to Worcester Superior Court. After their initial arrests, they were released on bail, prosecutors noted. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys who could speak to the new charges.

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