A Houston couple is behind bars, accused of masterminding a massive organized crime theft ring. Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman called it the biggest theft ring they’ve ever encountered.
Investigators say Andre and Julie Nguyen stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Target, Home Depot and Lowes.
Hermann said the Nguyens paid thieves to steal specific items from their “shopping lists,” including power tools, vacuum cleaners and pricey kitchen items.
They say all five bedrooms of their Mission Bend home had boxes of stolen goods stacked to the ceilings.
"When they kicked the front door, there was stuff stacked up behind it," Herman said. That's how full this house was."
In fact, Hermann said Precinct 4 didn’t have enough space to store it all in their evidence room or warehouses.
The couple also had devices to remove the security tags.
Several other suspects are in custody and Herman said there will be more arrests.
Herman’s deputies learned about the ring after two suspected thieves hit a Target on Kuykendahl and the Grand Parkway a few months ago. They were captured with help from a K-9 unit.
Undercover investigators infiltrated the organization during a three-month investigation.
"We literally went out and sold Mr. Nguyen and his wife stolen property and were able to successfully infiltrate this crime ring," Herman said.
Investigators are still trying to determine if and how the Nguyens were selling the stolen goods.
By arresting them, Herman said, they "cut off the head of the snake."
The Nguyens are being held on $500,000 bond each. Both were convicted of theft 20 years ago.