(LEBANON, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell today announced that a Florida man has repaid $22,000 and has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing Rogaine and other merchandise from dozens of stores in southwest Ohio and northeast Ohio.
Andres W. Arias, 36, of Boca Raton, pleaded guilty yesterday in Warren County Common Pleas Court to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second degree felony. He paid $22,000 in restitution and agreed to a two-year prison sentence.
“As a result of the hard work of law enforcement and prosecutors, this defendant, who stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from Ohio stores, has paid restitution and will be serving time for his actions,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We take these cases seriously and are committed to protecting Ohio businesses from roving thieves.”
“Organized retail theft costs Ohio businesses and consumers tens of millions of dollars every year. Arias’s conviction and sentence demonstrates the commitment by Attorney General DeWine, our office, and numerous other cooperating law enforcement agencies to crack down on professional thieves like Arias,” said Fornshell.
Between December 2015 and February 2016, Arias worked within a criminal network from Florida and New Jersey to steal approximately $22,000 worth of merchandise from Walgreens stores in Cuyahoga County, Hamilton County, Summit County, and Warren County, and from CVS stores in Summit County. As part of the scheme, Arias flew to targeted cities in the United States, rented vehicles, and drove to targeted stores. Once inside the stores, he concealed store items including Rogaine, Prevagen, and Alli in false pockets in his pants and left without paying for them. Then he shipped the stolen merchandise to associates in New Jersey, who deposited money into his bank account.
The case was prosecuted by attorneys from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, including its Economic Crimes Unit. It was investigated by the Mason Police Department and the Attorney General’s Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Special Investigations Unit and Criminal Intelligence Unit.