Shoplifter gets probation in $500,000 shoplifting ring

A case that started with a group of Home Depot customers reporting two suspected shoplifters in Beaverton, Ore., has produced its first conviction. William Hazelwood, 35, pled guilty to one count of first degree theft and was sentenced to 1.5 years of probation and ordered to pay attorney fees, plus an assessment and surcharge, according to an article in The Oregonian. Hazelwood also received an order for drug abuse assessment, counseling and treatment from the Washington County Circuit Court.

Trials are pending for two other suspects arrested in the case, where authorities recovered nearly $500,000 of reportedly stolen goods, including two ski boats, three enclosed utility trailers, a 24-ft. RV, computers and equipment from local businesses and restaurants, appliances from new residential construction sites, and tools and equipment from various construction sites.

Police apprehended the three suspects on Dec. 26, after a group of Home Depot customers reported seeing two men wheeling a shopping cart full of merchandise through an emergency exit door. After watching the men load the goods into a waiting utility trailer, the witnesses took down a description of the car before it drove away.

When police caught up with the suspects, they found $1,200 worth of Home Depot merchandise in the vehicle and trailer.  

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