weather icon Partly Cloudy

Trio charged in organized theft ring that targeted Lowe’s stores

Updated May 14, 2022 - 9:53 pm

Three people have been charged in connection with an organized theft ring that ripped off Lowe’s stores at least 17 times in a year in the Las Vegas Valley.

Michael Hunter, 45, Jason Collins, 51, and Antoinette Loccisana, 56, were being held Thursday morning at the Clark County Detention Center. Hunter and Collins each face charges of burglary, grand larceny and conspiracy. Loccisana is facing charges of burglary and conspiracy.

An arrest warrant filed in Las Vegas Justice Court for the trio on April 13 states that they were arrested after Lowe’s stores in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas reported to police that they were repeatedly victimized by an “organized retail theft crew.” The crimes started in the fall of 2020 and continued through 2021.

In almost all of the cases, Las Vegas police said, Collins would enter a Lowe’s store and grab a shopping cart. A couple of minutes later, police said, Hunter would enter the store. The pair would typically head toward the power equipment aisles, grab items, then walk out an exit of the gardening center without paying, according to police.

Items stolen included power washers, generators, blowers and chainsaws. The value of the items, police said, exceeded $21,000.

Police did not say exactly what led them to Hunter, Collins and Loccisana as suspects, but police said in the warrant that they obtained photos of the people stealing the items on each occasion. Police also obtained video surveillance of multiple vehicles used to transport the stolen items.

Loccisana and Collins refused to be transported to Justice Court on Thursday morning. They are both due in court Monday, court records show. A preliminary hearing for Hunter is scheduled for May 25.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.