Thieves Target Plastic Storage Crates
BROWNSVILLE – The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office said an illegal industry doing business in the Rio Grande Valley could be responsible for increased prices at retail stores.
Retailer’s plastic storage bins can be found outside almost any corner store. The office said thieves are making upwards of $100,000 in Cameron County alone.
The bins are picked up from behind retail stores, sold to recycling centers and shredded into raw materials. Its then resold and transformed into something else.
“It’s a big business for the retailers and it’s a big business for the bad guys out there to take advantage of that,” Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said.
Cameron County retailers spent their day reclaiming that the DA described as their stolen property. It was sold to Alandro Resources LLC off Boca Chica Boulevard in Brownsville.
Saenz said they raided the business on Tuesday. The DA explained he was brought into the investigations a couple months ago. He said thieves are selling stolen goods to the company.
The DA told Alandro Resources to stop buying the stolen goods.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know it’s stolen because if you look at them, it will have clearly marked Coca Cola,” he said.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to speak to the company. They redirected us to their lawyer, Ernesto Gamez. He said when the DA raided his client, he took evidence establishing his innocence.
“He’s got that evidence and I want it back,” Gamez said.
He said his client has a policy stating they don’t buy stolen goods. He said he’s disappointed about the raid.
“If you’re the one buying these containers and I walk up to you and I have in the back of a pickup truck 20 containers that have Coca-Cola, when you see the word Coca-Cola what are you going to think? Well these belong to Coca-Cola. So you have an obligation not to buy them,” he said.
The DA told us one of the boxes they found in the raid was filled with raw material and worth around $15,000 each.
“That’s a lot of money these retailers are going to make up. They’re not just going to write it off. They’re going to do what any other business retailer will do, they’re gonna up their prices,” he said.
He said he doesn’t want the cost to be passed along to people.
Gamez would not confirm his client’s name to CHANNEL 5. He said not every box was filled with stolen material.