Waterford CT April 1 2017 — Two Rhode Island men are in custody in connection with organized retail theft, a crime police said is on the rise.
Eric Pacheco, 23, of Cranston and Mario Antelo, 26, of Providence are facing multiple charges after police, while conducting surveillance at the Crystal Mall on Thursday, caught them allegedly attempting to steal from stores there.
According to police, officers first identified Antelo, for whom they held an active arrest warrant. Police said he was in the mall with a man they later learned was Pacheco.
One of the officers recognized the men's behavior was "consistent with organized retail theft" and requested additional units to the area, police said.
When the officer approached the men and identified himself, police said the men fled on foot, dropping shopping bags designed to defeat store security systems. The foot pursuit lasted for several minutes, police said, but the coordinated effort of responding patrol units led to the capture of both men.
Antelo, police said, had several active warrants for his arrest that are extraditable from Massachusetts. He was charged with interfering with an officer, criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny, possession of a shoplifting device, organized retail theft, third-degree larceny, fifth-degree larceny and being a fugitive from justice.
Pacheco is facing charges of interfering with an officer, possession of a shoplifting device and criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny.
Pacheco was held on a $50,000 bond, while Antelo was held on $150,000 in bonds.
Both men were due in New London Superior Court on Friday.