Gilbert PD: Man enlists mother, 89, in stolen retail scheme - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Gilbert PD: Man enlists mother, 89, in stolen retail scheme

Posted: Updated:
61-year-old Larry Ruthenberg and his 89-year-old mother captured in a surveillance picture. (Source: Gilbert Police Department) 61-year-old Larry Ruthenberg and his 89-year-old mother captured in a surveillance picture. (Source: Gilbert Police Department)
Larry Ruthenberg's booking photo. (Source: Gilbert Police Department) Larry Ruthenberg's booking photo. (Source: Gilbert Police Department)
  • More newsMore>>

  • After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

    After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:06 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:06:47 GMT
    For years, state and local officials have conducted a "tabletop exercise" before the Boston Marathon, a meeting that allows them to study a map of the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Copley Square...More >>
    For years, state and local officials have conducted a "tabletop exercise" before the Boston Marathon, a meeting that allows them to study a map of the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Copley Square and plan...More >>
  • SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:44 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:44:20 GMT
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous acts" in the disaster, which left more than 300 people dead or missing.More >>
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous acts" in the disaster, which left more than 300 people dead or missing.More >>
  • Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:13:28 GMT
    Tens of thousands gathered for a weekend of Colorado cannabis-themed festivals and entertainment. (Source: MGN) Tens of thousands gathered for a weekend of Colorado cannabis-themed festivals and entertainment. (Source: MGN)
    The 4/20 stoner holiday is going mainstream in Colorado.More >>
    Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the...More >>
GILBERT, AZ (CBS5) -

A 61-year-old Gilbert man and his 89-year-old mother are suspected of selling items stolen from major retailers at garage sales in the Phoenix area.

Larry Ruthenberg was arrested and booked into jail on charges of fraudulent schemes and organized retail theft, according to a Gilbert Police Department news release. His mother, Doris Ruthenberg, is facing unspecified charges with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Police said Larry Ruthenberg enlisted his mother in the schemes. Officers had the pair under surveillance and watched them commit 32 separate thefts in five days, the release stated.

"He takes her in a wheelchair into a store. They fill up bags of whatever they want," said Gilbert police Sgt. Jesse Sanger.

"He literally would wheel her out the doors, past the cashiers, not pay and take her to the van and load up the property. (They would then) drive to the next store and start all over," Sanger continued.

They would later sell the items in their original packaging and organized by type on tables and hanging racks at garage sales, police said.

Search warrants at the suspects' house and storage lockers resulted in three large truck loads of stolen property, according to the release.

Investigators said they had recovered more than $130,000 worth of stolen property from retailers, including JC Penney, Barnes and Noble, Target, Home Depot, Sears, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Macys, Fry's Food Stores, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Office Max, Toys-R-Us, Lowes, Walgreens, Kohls and TJ Maxx.

Police said Larry Ruthenberg has been arrested multiple times for retail fraud in Michigan. He and his mother moved to Arizona in June.

Larry Ruthenberg was in jail on a $36,000 bond.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow