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The local cd warehouse franchise was huge fencing operation

Old 11-11-04, 07:19 PM
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The local cd warehouse franchise was huge fencing operation

In seattle washington area

Cops say store bought, sold stolen DVDs
2004-11-11
by Noel S. Brady
Journal Reporter

BELLEVUE -- Police seized 3,877 DVDs from CD Warehouse at Crossroads Shopping Center on Wednesday and arrested the used CD and DVD retail store's manager and owner on investigation of trafficking stolen property.

A two-week, undercover investigation by Bellevue police has revealed a racket of buying and reselling new DVDs that were stolen from major retail chain outlets around Puget Sound, said police spokesman Michael Chiu.

Police went to the store, which is on the north side of Crossroads Shopping Center, about 2 p.m. Wednesday and arrested CD Warehouse manager Nathaniel Chriest, 27, of Duvall. Officers spent the rest of the afternoon sorting through thousands of DVDs.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m., as police were collecting evidence, the store's owner, John Perlic, 43, of Kirkland walked in, and he too was arrested, Chiu said.

Both were booked and released.

Police also searched the homes of both men, Chiu said.

The search of Chriest's Duvall home turned up an active methamphetamine lab, Chiu said.

Chiu said the practice of buying and selling stolen DVDs at CD Warehouse had been going on for as long as two years, until an informant tipped off police.

Numerous sellers brought the stolen merchandise in by the ``bin full,'' he said. The store required no identification from walk-in sellers of CDs and DVDs.

Even as officers were bagging the stolen DVDs Wednesday, Chiu said, sellers approached the store, but didn't enter.

``Seven or eight people came up with bags of CDs and DVDs and turned around quick when they saw us,'' he said.

The investigation has established that the manager was well aware that he was purchasing stolen merchandise, Chiu said, but further investigation is required to determine whether the owner knew.

In addition to the DVDs, police also seized the store's computers. It was unclear if or when CD Warehouse will reopen.

ROBBERIES THEFT MUSIC FILM MOVIE RECORDINGS

PHOTO by Patrick Hagerty/Journal: A police van full of nearly 4,000 confiscated DVDs sits Wednesday outside of the CD Warehouse store at the Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue. The store's owner and manager were arrested and their homes and the business searched by police as part of a stolen property investigation.
Old 11-12-04, 12:22 AM
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A CDWarehouse near me (Sharonville OH - near Cincinnati) was profiled by the local news for selling bootleg DVDs.

They kept them behind the counter and the undercover news reporter had to ask for them. They turned out to be the kind of movies someone filmed with a camcorder in the theater.

The store owner promised to stop selling them and the store is still in business today.

What's funny though is that bootleg DVDs were just a small portion of illegal items that this store sold (and may still sell). If the reporter would have simply looked on the shelves he would have found tons of bootleg CDs including many that were burned on a computer, put clear CD cases and simply thrown on the shelf! Crazy, huh?
Old 11-12-04, 03:48 AM
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I shop in the Crossroads Mall from time to time. Glad to say I never went into that store. I buy a lot of my DVDs online anyways. Thanks for the article. If I happen to go to Crossroads anytime soon I'll have to see if the store is open again.
Old 11-12-04, 08:09 AM
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I wonder if the police will have a seized item auction
Old 11-12-04, 04:35 PM
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They said on the television news that the store actually had a group of freelancers shoplift for them at the targets and other stores in the area taking 20 dvd's at a time.
Old 11-15-04, 05:24 PM
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So they had an interesting business model. Free inventory!
Old 11-15-04, 06:56 PM
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I bet they had great prices!
Old 11-16-04, 08:00 PM
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on the tv news report that covered this it showed the cops loading the dvd's up. i noticed a toy story ultimate toy box set on a shelf at the store and had wished that I had been able to take a look at that one
Old 11-18-04, 05:03 AM
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Outside of thier "freelancers", informants, records & whatnot..how do you tell if a DVD is stolen?

Let's assume that Best Buy lost a copy of "ELF" and somehow a CD DVD store ended up with a copy for sale a week later...how do you prove *THAT* dvd is in fact the stolen one? DVD's are mass produced and look identical.


I do realize that 20 of a single title is a signifigant to "aquire" per week.
Old 11-19-04, 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by UAIOE
Outside of thier "freelancers", informants, records & whatnot..how do you tell if a DVD is stolen?

Let's assume that Best Buy lost a copy of "ELF" and somehow a CD DVD store ended up with a copy for sale a week later...how do you prove *THAT* dvd is in fact the stolen one? DVD's are mass produced and look identical.

You don't need to know which one is the exact stolen one. It sounds like they seized the entire used inventory. All you need is people telling you and testifying that this is what is going on to start the case rolling, and it's fairly certain that one of the employees involved will roll over on the owner to get themselves a lighter sentence.
Old 11-19-04, 12:28 PM
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Well the store is open again for business. I went by the store last night. I would of stopped and checked it out more, but I was with friends. I didn't see any signs on the door. There were about 4 people shopping in the store.
Old 11-21-04, 09:49 PM
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Is CD Warehouse a chain? I ask because I just received Sopranos Season 1 & 2 DVDs that I bought from the seller "CDWarehouse" on Amazon Marketplace for $28.99 each. I thought it was a ridiculously good deal. Wonder if this order was from that store?
Old 11-22-04, 07:34 PM
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It is similar to the franchise system used in the restaurant business. Corporate provide each store with the infrastructure but I believe the independent franchisee is owner

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