Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento man sentenced as leader of shoplifting ring

A Sacramento man and ringleader of a shoplifting gang that stole more than $2.5 million in retail goods and sold them on eBay was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal prison.

Jason Samuel Schroeder pleaded guilty in March to interstate transportation of stolen property. U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez set a hearing for Dec. 1 on how much restitution Schroeder should have to pay to various businesses.

Surveillance of Schroeder revealed that he spent multiple hours a day in stores appearing to steal a variety of items, which were later listed for sale on his eBay account.

The proceeds from the sales were deposited into a PayPal account controlled by Schroeder, and then laundered through ATM withdrawals, cash-back purchases and the purchase of more than $600,000 in money orders.

“Schroeder – well known to loss-prevention professionals in California and other states – brazenly and habitually shoplifted from retailers for the sole purpose of selling the stolen merchandise to unsuspecting customers online,” said FBI Special Agent Brandon Simpson. “The ring’s impact was significant and forever changed how a variety of goods are displayed at retail locations” in California and Oregon.

The FBI partnered with the IRS, the Postal Inspection Service and eBay in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Dolan is the prosecutor.

According to Schroeder’s plea agreement, in October 2012 a sporting goods company with stores in Sacramento reported to the FBI that an eBay account was listing items for sale that the company suspected were stolen. Investigation revealed the account was Schroeder’s, although he held it in the name of a confederate. Since 2009, it had listed more than 17,000 items for sale, including sporting goods, household goods, recreational equipment and pet-care products. Virtually all of the new items were stolen by Schroeder or other members of the ring of thieves and sold at a discount.

Wiretaps and physical surveillance revealed the roles of other members of the ring. According to court papers, David Reed assisted Schroeder with the packaging and shipment of the merchandise that was sold. Kirk Arthell Sanderson assisted in moving merchandise away from Schroeder’s residence when Schroeder learned of the federal investigation. Andrea Lynn Turner and Joshua Roy Payne gave false statements to federal agents when they were asked about their connections to Schroeder.

Schroeder, 36, is the sixth person sentenced to prison in the case. Other prison sentences have been given to Sanderson, 37, of Walnut Creek, four years; John Judah Young, 34, of Sacramento, 2 1/2 years; Reed, 29, of Vacaville, one year; Turner, 34, of Roseville, and Payne, 30, of Vacaville, two months. A brother of David Reed, Jason Nathaniel Reed, 36, of Portland, Ore., is scheduled for sentencing later this year. The Reed brothers are cousins to Schroeder.

Denny Walsh: 916-321-1189