Two indicted for allegedly stealing more than $800,000 in equipment from WA Home Depots

The Home Depot rents all kinds of things.

But officials with Homeland Security Investigations say the two people a grand jury indicted in a retail theft scheme focused on two items: jumping jacks and vibratory plate compactors.

“These are concrete tampers, very heavy, they rely on their weight to tamp down concrete,” said Robert Hammer, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge.

They’re also worth between $1,500 and $2,000 each.

Federal investigators say Jaylan Amir Thomas of Santa Monica, California led a scheme that stole 480 pieces of equipment from 190 stores in 23 states.

Prosecutors say Thomas and his co-conspirators traveled the country, renting between one and four pieces of equipment at a time.

“Probably to evade detection. No one goes in and says I need 15 vibratory plate compactors,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Staniar.

Prosecutors say the thieves didn’t return the equipment but sold it on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp.

When stores tried to charge the debit card used for a deposit, they got an insufficient funds notice.

Prosecutors say stores in Seattle, Bothell, and Redmond were among those hit, and that the losses totaled more than $800,000.

The indictment is part of a federal crackdown on retail theft rings.

“We’re seeing this for high-end construction equipment, we’re seeing it for people doing organized retail theft. they can steal massive amounts of things from retail stores and they just place them online,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.

“We’d like to thank local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as our partners across the public and private sectors who brought this significant organized retail crime case to a successful resolution,” said The Home Depot spokesperson Evelyn Fornes.

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