Four suspects were arrested on September 8, 2023, for their involvement in an organized retail theft ring.
By News Desk
On September 8, 2023, members of the Pasadena Police Department Detective Section conducted an operation aimed at combating organized retail theft and vehicle burglaries. The primary focus of the program included businesses within the South Lake Shopping District.
As the program neared its conclusion, Detectives directed their attention towards Macy’s, located at 401 S. Lake Avenue. Inside the store, Detectives closely monitored four individuals who were methodically choosing high value clothing items. The individuals then proceeded to conceal the items while hiding behind their associates. Ultimately, the individuals left the store without making any attempt to pay for the stolen merchandise.
Detectives made an initial effort to apprehend the suspects, but they managed to evade capture on foot. Following a short chase, law enforcement successfully apprehended three of the suspects. However, a fourth suspect attempted to escape by using a vehicle and drove directly toward an officer who was in a black-and-white police unit. The suspect narrowly avoided colliding with the officer’s vehicle. To stop the suspect’s attempt to flee, one of the officers employed an intervention technique. Despite the suspect’s efforts to accelerate away, another officer successfully disabled the suspect’s vehicle, leading to the apprehension of the fourth suspect. Fortunately, no officers or suspects sustained any injuries during this incident.
On September 11, 2023, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony complaint against each suspect involved. Vasile Alberto Balan was charged with one count of Grand Theft, with bail set at $300,000. Additionally, Balan had an outstanding no-bail warrant from Las Vegas. Sorin Marin Stefan, Mihaela Simion, and Cosmin Lucian Cismary were each charged with one count of Grand Theft, and bail was established at $250,000 for each of them.
Afterwards, this crew was found to be responsible for additional thefts within the city and in surrounding counties. A press conference will be forthcoming to discuss their involvement in these cases.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Pasadena Police at (626) 744-4241 or report information anonymously by contacting “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222- TIPS (8477), or by using the website lacrimestoppers.org.
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