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Published: Saturday, 7/31/2004

Police: 3 charged in thefts gave false IDs

Three of six people accused of having more than $50,000 worth of clothing stolen from malls in Toledo and Michigan provided local authorities with false names and said they were from New York, Toledo police said yesterday.

The three who said their names were Jorge Blanco, 42, Yeins Gonsalez, 19, and Valencia Sabogal, 29, are in fact Venezuelan nationals, Lieutenant Bill Moton said.

Investigators are also trying to determine the correct identity of a fourth suspect in the case, Maryuri Escada, 28.

The remaining two suspects, Miguel Osorio, 38, and Luis Sabogal, 32, provided authorities with correct information, Lt. Moton said.

The six were charged with receiving stolen property. Mr. Osorio and Ms. Escada were also charged with possession of criminal tools.

All were being held last night in the Lucas County jail.

Earlier this week, their bonds were raised from $5,000 each to $100,000 per charge after police received information that questioned their identities.

Police suggested they may be members of an organized crime ring.

Local investigators are working with authorities in other cities and states on the case.

They are also working on returning the hundreds of garments - 27 bags full, many of them designer-name goods - to the stores.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service placed holders on Mr. Blanco, Mr. Gonsalez, and the Sabogals so they will be kept in the jail even if they post bond on the charges.

It has not placed holders on Mr. Osorio and Ms. Escada, jail officials said.

Authorities went to the Red Roof Inn in West Toledo on Sunday after receiving an anonymous call about suspicious activity at the motel that involved people walking in and out of a room with large bags.

Police found shopping bags lined with material that deflects detection by store anti-theft sensors. They did not say what the bags were lined with.

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