These sticky fingers finally got caught.
A dozen people were indicted on Wednesday for a far-reaching theft ring that amassed millions worth of stolen printer ink cartridges, small electronics, headphones, and other random items the thieves smuggled out of stores in 28 states, including New York, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The ringleader, Richard Rimbaugh, 54, also known as “the general,” would allegedly resell the stolen goods online, which he stored at his Manhattan apartment, Schneiderman said.
“This was an extremely sophisticated and complicated organized crime ring,” Schneiderman said, adding the group kept detailed records of expenses and financial ledgers. “This was run very much like a business.”
Rimbaugh allegedly paid other members of the ring 30% to 50% of the retail value of the stolen goods, taken from stores like Staples, Office Depot and BestBuy. To get around store security, the group allegedly used anti-security devices, which they called “kryptonite.”
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Sticky Fingers,” went on for 10 months, he said, but Rimbaugh has been running a similar ring since the 1980s. He allegedly sold about $12 million worth of the stolen goods since 2012.
Investigators seized more than $7.7 million from the homes and bank accounts of those involved in the ring, as well as more than $1 million in stolen merchandise, Schneiderman said.
“It was full of stuff,” Schneiderman said about Rimbaugh’s West 112th Street apartment. “It was floor-to-ceiling full of merchandise.”
Rimbaugh was held in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to the AG’s office.
An attorney for Rimbaugh, Barry Slotnick, said he believes he will be acquitted.
“We fear that the allegations are not appropriate,” he said. “We are ready to go to trial within the reasonably short distance.”
If convicted, each defendant in the 41-count indictment faces between faces between 8 and 25 years in prison.