A south New Jersey couple went on an online theft spree, pilfering nearly $260,000 of merchandise – including $2,500 of Victoria’s Secret underwear, authorities said Tuesday.
All the goods allegedly ripped off by husband Kimy Velazquez, 40, and wife Romela, 24, filled up an 18-foot-long trailer at Brick Township police headquarters, Ocean County prosecutors said.
They employed a online scheme known as “glitching” – exploiting a weakness in online retail websites by logging in coupon codes that wrongly bring goods at dramatic discount or for free, store investigators said.
The defendants were first flagged by Lowe’s Home Improvement to Brick police and Ocean County prosecutors, officials said.
The couple fraudulently ordered $258,068.01 worth of goods – of which $12,971.23 has been recovered so far, authorities said.
When authorities raided their home on Aug. 3, stolen merchandise was everywhere, said Ocean County Prosecutor spokesman Al Della Fave.
They had been advertising their “new in box” goods for sale online.
“Most all of it was new – in boxes, never opened, with tags,” Della Fave said.
Lowe’s, makers of Ugg shoes and Victoria’s Secret have been identified as victims so far – but many more retailers were also ripped off and will eventually be identified, officials said.
“There’s an 18-foot trailer sitting behind the Brick Police Department with all that they took,” Della Fave said. “It looks like a warehouse.”
In addition to the $2,500 in Victoria’s Secret underwear, the other stolen goods authorities said they recovered include: A stainless steel Weber grill, an aluminum gazebo, a Honda lawn mower, an LG air conditioner, an industrial-strength power washer made by Dewalt, “multiple boxes of Ugg” shoes, a 70-inch Vizio LED smart TV, a four-speaker Sony stereo system, a Nikon D5000 camera, three Dyson vacuum cleaners and “multiple boxes” of pre-assembled furniture.
Romela Velazquez was charged with computer criminal activity and theft by deception, Kimy Velazquez was charged with receiving stolen property and fencing.
The couple was released without bail.