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Las Vegas police arrest 2 members of retail theft ring, looking for more

Posted at 6:27 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 21:27:52-05

Beginning in October, 2017 there have been a series of robberies to retail stores in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. In these events, a number of adult males would enter the stores and load up shopping carts with merchandise ranging from clothing and electronics to laundry detergent and food items. The suspects would then exit the store via a fire exit that leads to the rear of the business and load the stolen property into a car that was waiting.

In some of the cases, employees who attempted to stop the suspects were threatened by one of the suspects, who was described as a large Hispanic male. This suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Raul Cruz, would threaten the employees with a baton, or in some cases, an electronic control device. Information about this crime series, as well as photos of the suspect, was put out to local media outlets.

On December 2, 2017 just before 8 p.m. LVMPD patrol officers were dispatched to a store located in the 8600 block of West Charleston Boulevard to investigate a call of a robbery. Employees of the business saw several males enter the store who appeared to match the descriptions of the suspects that had been publicized in local news stories. The suspects began loading shopping carts with merchandise while employees were attempting to flag down arriving LVMPD officers.

The suspects headed towards the back exit of the store when they were confronted by an employee. Raul Cruz threatened the employee with a baton and the suspects fled out of the back door. At that time, an LVMPD officer arrived at the back of the business, and the suspects fled on foot. After a foot pursuit, Cruz was taken into custody in a nearby neighborhood. The driver of the getaway vehicle remained at the scene and was also taken into custody; he was later identified as 30-year-old Kenneth Payne.

As a result of the investigation, Raul Cruz and Kenneth Payne were both arrested and transported to the Clark County Detention Center where the both face multiple counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, felony theft and conspiracy to commit felony theft in connection with eight different events. Both of their booking photos accompany this release.

These arrests were the result of a collaborative effort consisting of the LVMPD Theft Crimes Bureau, the LVMPD Spring Valley Area Command, the North Las Vegas Police Department, and Las Vegas Valley retailers.

This investigation remains ongoing. Four suspects remain unidentified, and photos of these suspects from some of the incidents accompany this release. Anyone with any information about the identity or whereabouts of these four suspects, or any information about any of these crimes, is urged to contact the LVMPD Theft Crimes Bureau by phone at 702-828-3483. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or on the internet at www.crimestoppersofnv.com. Tips leading directly to an arrest or indictment processed through Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward.