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    Organized Retail Theft Crew Pleads Guilty To All Charges In Thousand Oaks, Camarillo And Oxnard Offenses

    VENTURA, California – District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced today that Areonah Walker (DOB 07/29/03), of Riverside, and Terrion Phillips (DOB 10/13/03), of Los Angeles, pled guilty to eight felony charges this week.

    On November 27, 2021, Walker and Phillips entered the Ulta Beauty store in Oxnard and stole 46 bottles of perfume. They proceeded to the Ulta Beauty store in Camarillo and stole 33 bottles of perfume. At each location, the two used “booster bags” which are designed to avoid security detection. Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted and attempted to stop the vehicle driven by Phillips, who was driving at dangerous speeds during heavy holiday traffic. Phillips and Walker were eventually apprehended.

    Investigators later connected Walker to thefts that occurred on October 30, 2021, at Ulta Beauty stores in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, and at a Sephora store in Thousand Oaks.

    Walker pled to five counts of felony grand theft, including the thefts committed in October. Phillips pled to two counts of felony grand theft and one felony count of evading a police officer. The total value of items stolen from Ulta Beauty was over $27,000, and items stolen from Sephora were valued at over $12,000.

    “Thanks to the efforts of our sheriff’s department and prosecutors, these defendants have been held accountable,” said District Attorney Erik Nasarenko. “If an organized theft crew enters Ventura County, we will vigorously prosecute the crimes and ensure that felony charges are filed when the evidence supports doing so.”

    One of the convicted defendants (Walker) is being investigated for allegedly participating in 19 organized retail thefts in four other counties, amounting to losses of over $150,000. Those counties are San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside. Because the investigation involves crimes that allegedly occurred between September through November 2021, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is not able to consolidate them into a Ventura County case because a cross-jurisdictional law allowing the office to do so expired on June 30, 2021. Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin has introduced legislation, AB 1613, to restore the statute.

    Walker and Phillips are scheduled to be sentenced on February 10, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 23 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Each count is punishable by up to three years in county jail.

    # # #

    The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 290 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

    Contact: Thomas Dunlevy

    Title: Supervising Deputy District Attorney

    Telephone: (805) 654-3781

    Email:  [email protected]

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