East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Detectives arrested a man Thursday, March 14 in an organized retail theft ring. The man is suspected of paying multiple people to commit retail thefts at area businesses in Baton Rouge and possibly other areas.
Paul Haynes, Jr., 57, is charged with organized retail theft, money laundering, illegal transmission of monetary funds and computer fraud.
Haynes is believed to have been involved with numerous retail thefts from August 2018 until March 2019 in which he hired individuals to commit thefts from local retailers including Home Depot and Lowes and then sold the stolen items on Amazon.
The theft ring operated in every city in Louisiana with a Lowes and Home Depot and as far East as Mississippi and as far West as Texas, according to the EBRSO.
The group targeted items such as chainsaws and high-end vacuum cleaners. Detectives’ investigation revealed that Haynes deposited approximately $150,000 into his bank account from Amazon between July 2018 and January 2019. Authorities found stolen items at his residence in Brusly and a storage facility in Baton Rouge totaling an estimated $200,000.
“This is an example of great detective work,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “These detectives put in numerous hours in surveillance, interviewing, developing confidential sources and conducting research. As a result, they have put a stop to a lucrative criminal enterprise and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen items.”