4 arrests made in canned goods and rice heist

(PNC file photo)

Guam – Four individuals are behind bars after the observant eyes of a neighborhood watch member noticed that inventory seemed to be low at a Dededo mom and pops store.

Eric Lee Flores, Leslie Jo Cruz Rugante, Edna Fortes and Steve Sandoval are accused of stealing from not one, but two stores in March. According to court documents, the first theft occurred at CM Mart in Tamuning where the alleged thieves made off with one case of Ox and Palm corned beef and three cases of Spam.

Days later, court documents state that the thieves struck again, this time at Jong Ho Market in Dededo, and while at first it appears that they may have gotten away with it, they didn’t, thanks to a member of the neighborhood watch program who noticed that a large amount of merchandise was gone.

Court documents state that the store owner reviewed surveillance footage at the NWP member’s request and discovered that 6 cases of corned beef, six 50 pound bags of rice, four 25 pound bags of rice, and eight 10 pound bags of rice were indeed stolen.

The footage further showed a a brown Nissan Sentra, which matched the description of a vehicle being circulated in the Neighborhood Watch chat group as being “involved in several other thefts.”

According to court documents the vehicle is known by residents to be located at an abandoned house on Conchita Lane.

Police checked the abandoned house and found the four individuals who all allegedly admitted to being the ones portrayed on the surveillance footage stealing the merchandise.

They have been charged with retail theft and were booked and confined.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.