Pleasanton Weekly

News - January 3, 2014

Holiday crime rises at Stoneridge mall

Five face embezzlement charges

by Glenn Wohltmann

Stoneridge Shopping Center was a hotbed of criminal activity in the days surrounding Christmas, with 10 arrests, pending charges against two more and fake $100 bills passed.

In one incident on Dec. 23, three men and a teen boy were arrested at Macy's Men's in a scheme in which an employee was selling gift cards, allowing purchases to be made, and then returning the cards.

Joshua Benjamin Williams, 19, of Castro Valley, was arrested after a coworker reported that Williams' cash register was short.

Video showed Williams activate a gift card, then head to an iPod vending machine, also at Macy's Men's, where he spent $329; a review of videos also showed that Williams took a $100 bill from his register, according to a police report.

He also assaulted loss prevention while being escorted out of the store and admitted to embezzling more than $3,000 from Macy's in the last three weeks, the report said.

Another Castro Valley man, Angelo Cuizon, 18, was arrested in the same incident. The police report said he had a deal that gave Williams $50-$60 every time Cuizon stole shoes from the store

Also arrested were Jordan Tyler Eaton, 21, of Hayward and a 17-year old Hayward boy..

The juvenile went to Williams, who activated and gave him a gift card that the teen used to buy two pair of jeans, worth $58 apiece, and returned the card to Williams, according to the report. The teen had been banned from all Macy's stores after a prior incident.

Eaton was arrested for giving Williams codes to open cash registers, the report said. Williams rang up a $400 gift card and gave it to Eaton, who knew it was fraudulent, but used it anyway in Newark, according to the report.

Williams was arrested for felony embezzlement, felony shoplifting and misdemeanor battery. Cuizon was arrested for felony shoplifting, and Eaton and the juvenile were arrested for misdemeanor theft.

The four were taken into custody at about 10:36 p.m. Dec. 23.

Elsewhere at the mall, four store workers are looking at embezzlement charges for stealing from their employers in separate incidents.

Dwayna Shania Stamps, 20, of Hayward was arrested at about 4:20 p.m. Dec. 27 for embezzling more than $5,000 from JC Penney in the 1500 block of Stoneridge Mall Road by giving unauthorized discounts to friends.

Shanika Nicole Robinson, 20, of Hayward, was arrested on a misdemeanor embezzlement count at about 9:50 p.m. Dec. 27 for making 23 unauthorized discounts totaling $302, also from JC Penney.

Felony embezzlement cases against two unnamed Nordstrom employees have been forwarded to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for possible charges. At about 5:13 p.m. Dec. 23, Nordstrom, in the 1600 block of Stoneridge Mall Road, reported the embezzlement of $707 and $697. Other information in the ongoing case was unavailable.

Two stores, the Guess Store and Aldo, reported receiving counterfeit $100 bills on Dec. 26; two bogus bills were passed at Aldo and one was passed at the Guess Store.

Also among those arrested was Myra Lorena Fontanillo-Lopez, 32, of Fremont for felony theft of eight items of clothing and two purses from Macy's Women's with a total value $1,200. Video surveillance showed Fontanillo-Lopez taking the items, a police report said. She was arrested at about 5:10 p.m. Dec. 27.

Four others were arrested on misdemeanor theft charges at the mall during Christmas week.

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