Long Beach Police Warn Business Owners “Bulk Buy” Scam; Additional Victims Sought

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cash-scam-bulk-buyOn Tuesday, May 19, 2009 North Division patrol officers responded to a grand theft report. The victim told police that he was approached in the parking lot by a male Hispanic, who stated he was employed by “Jetro”, a restaurant distributing business located in the 2300 block of east 68th street in Long Beach.  The suspect told him he had several thousand pounds of overstock meat that he needed to get rid of and would sell it to the victim at a reduced price. The suspect agreed to sell meat that normally retails for $1.50 per pound for the discounted price $.90 per pound.

The victim agreed to this price returning a short time later with a large truck to transport the meat.  The victim gave the suspect several thousand dollars in cash as payment and was told to pull his truck into the Jetro loading bay and wait for him to return with an invoice. The victim never saw the suspect again.

Patrol officers and detectives immediately collaborated and set up surveillance in the area. As a result of these proactive efforts three suspects were taken into custody for grand theft. 

In many of these cases the victims are approached at their place of business or through other means. The suspects tell them they are employees of a business with an overstock of merchandise and offer a great price for  bulk, cash-only purchases. Other items offered for bulk sale included:  paper goods, energy drinks and coffee. In most cases the victims were told to meet the suspects in the parking lot near the Jetro business, which is adjacent to Taco Bell, Food 4 Less and Target stores, located at 68th and Cherry in Long Beach for the final transaction. 

Detectives believe there are at least 20 more victims of this scam. Often time’s victims of such crimes are embarrassed to come forward and report such crimes. The Long Beach Police Department urges anyone who has fallen victim to this scam to please report it immediately. 

If you are a victim or have information regarding this particular scam you are urged to contact Long Beach Police Detective Jose Yarruhs  (Spanish speaker) at 562-570-9822 or Detective Dave DeMasi 562-570-9820 right away.

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