California Mom Implicated in Massive Shoplifting Scheme

California Mom Implicated in Massive Shoplifting Scheme

( – A San Diego County mother has been implicated in a massive decade-long shoplifting scheme targeting over 200 stores across multiple states. Authorities first apprehended Michelle Mack and her husband, Kenneth Mack, at their 4,500-square-foot mansion in California on December 6, 2023. Now, new details are shedding light on how the couple managed to operate the alleged criminal enterprise for so long without getting caught.

Police first became aware of Mack and her husband after CNBC, who was in the middle of a nearly eight-month investigation into organized retail crime rings at the time, tipped them off about suspicious behavior on an Amazon storefront called “The Online Makeup Store.” The shop was reportedly selling products from multiple high-end makeup brands, such as Tarte, Mac, and Charlotte Tilbury, at a fraction of the usual retail price.

The storefront itself had hundreds of positive reviews. Yet, the incredibly low prices seemed far too good to be true — a common red flag for stolen goods.

Police launched an investigation into the matter, which led them right to Michelle Mack’s doorstep. They discovered along the way that, while the items she listed on Amazon were stolen from places like Bloomingdale’s, Ulta, and Sephora, it wasn’t actually her doing the swiping. Instead, Mack hired at least 12 young women to boost the items on her behalf.

As the ringleader, Mack would allegedly identify which stores to target and plan the thefts in advance. The girls, equipped with Louis Vuitton bags to defer suspicion, would enter the location, stuff their purses with the products, and then ship the ill-gotten gains to Mack’s home.

Records show that the Macks, who opened their storefront in 2012, have made a total of $8 million in sales over the past 12 years, including almost $2 million in 2022 alone.

Police eventually obtained a search warrant for Michelle Mack’s home late last year. Inside, they discovered nearly $300,000 worth of pilfered products and incriminating texts between Mack and her husband. In these text messages, they explicitly admitted to their crimes.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed nearly 140 charges against Mack and the rest of her team shortly after. The group is facing a laundry list of felony crimes, including Receipt of stolen property, Conspiracy, Organized Retail Theft, and Grand Theft.

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