A couple of Houston men are charged with stealing jeans from JCPenney stores all over the state, and police say they were caught in the act in College Station.
According to Houston police documents, the operation has been happening since 2012 with an "organized group of professional boosters."
Police say Ramiro Rodriguez appears to be the leader of the group.
A JCPenney employee brought this issue to police attention with surveillance footage that police say seemed to show Rodriguez going into the stores, methodically picking up Levi's jeans, removing the security tag off camera, and stuffing them in a JCPenney shopping bag and leaving. According to the report, the Rodriguez appears to do this several times consecutively, going in and out of the store.
Police eventually identified a second suspect in these operations, Jose del Angel, and found out he would be at Post Oak Mall in College Station.
Police say they watched del Angel leave the JCPenney at Post Oak--later police found out he left with 134 pairs of allegedly stolen Levi's--and followed him to the Lowe's parking lot, where they say he met up with Rodriguez who helped him load up his trunk with the jeans.
Finally, police traced the operation to a flea market in Houston where del Angel sat in a booth selling Levi's. Two undercover officers purchased jeans from del Angel, one for $30. Police say noticeable "JCPenney" stickers were still on the tags.
According to HPD, 980 pairs of Levi's were stolen in this operation, worth $56,722 in total.
From Post Oak Mall, police say 145 pairs of Levi's were stolen, totaling nearly $9,000.
Both Rodriguez and del Angel are both now charged with felony theft - aggregate.