Kent, Renton Target stores part of organized retail theft case

State’s new Organized Retail Crime Unit files theft charges in its first criminal prosecution case

Four thefts at the Kent Target store and three at the Renton Target are part of the first criminal prosecution case filed by the state Attorney General’s Office new Organized Retail Crime Unit.

The Attorney General’s Office charged Shawn Nanez, 33, of Bremerton, in King County Superior Court with felony first-degree organized retail theft, according to a Nov. 16 news release. The criminal charges stem from 11 thefts totaling more than $50,000 in merchandise from Target stores in King and Kitsap counties.

The 11 thefts occurred in a two-month period between April and May 2022. Video footage reportedly showed Nanez using a tool to break into security cases that contained electronic items like speakers and headphones. He then allegedly took the items out and loaded them into a shopping cart. He reportedly walked out of the stores without paying for any of the items.

After his arrest by Lakewood Police on June 3, 2022 outside a Target store during an alleged theft, Nanez reportedly told investigators he sold the merchandise to a third party for cash.

In addition to the one felony count of organized retail theft in King County, the Attorney General’s Organized Retail Crime Unit is also prosecuting Nanez in Kitsap County Superior Court for one county of felony first-degree organized retail theft.

As of Nov. 16, Nanez was in custody in the Kitsap County Jail in Port Orchard.

The Attorney General’s Office asserts Nanez’s eight thefts in King County had a total value of more than $30,000 and three thefts in Kitsap County had a total value of more than $24,000.

If convicted, Nanez faces a prison sentence from four years and three months to five years and eight months and a $20,000 penalty for each of the two counts. The Attorney General’s Office will seek full restitution for Nanez’s thefts in King and Kitsap counties.

Crime unit

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson partnered with the Legislature to create a central Organized Retail Crime Unit earlier this year. The need for a centralized unit and more investigative and prosecutorial resources was identified by Ferguson’s Organized Retail Crime Theft Task Force, which convened in 2022. The task force includes representatives from state, local, and federal law enforcement, small and large businesses, and retail workers.

“Our new unit is hitting the ground running and pursuing cases as we hire our team,” Ferguson said. “This is the first of what we hope will be many cases bringing accountability to this significant and growing problem.”

The funding for the 10-person unit became available July 1. The office is in the process of hiring investigators, prosecutors, paralegals and a data analyst. The unit is available to assist with investigations — including coordinating them across multiple jurisdictions — and deploy resources where they are most needed. The unit can prosecute cases referred to the office by county prosecutors.

King County cases

The King County cases began at the Tukwila Target store prior to the Renton and Kent stores. Police were called in each case, but the suspect was gone when officers arrived. Police documented the cases by observing store video and reviewing Target security reports.

Here’s a summary of what reportedly occurred in each case, according to court documents:

• Target, 301 Strander Blvd., Tukwila

When: 9:50 a.m. April 13, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $3,259

Nanez reportedly used a hand-held tool to dislodge the locking mechanism on a secured sliding glass cabinet door. He had a Target shopping cart next to the case. Once broken, the male slides the case doors open and takes speakers from the cabinet and places items into a Target shopping cart. He exits the store with cart full of unpaid merchandise.

• Target, 26301 104th Ave. SE, Kent

When: 9:46 p.m. April 27, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $3,409

Nanez allegedly broke two secured glass cabinet doors and takes items and placed them in a shopping tote. Items include headphones and speakers. He left the store without paying.

• Target, 1215 N. Landing Way, Renton

When: 9:01 p.m. April 29, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $6,717

Nanez allegedly used a tool to break a glass cabinet case. He loaded a shopping tote with headphones and other electronic items before exiting store.

• Target, Kent

When: 10:01 p.m. April 29, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $2,277

Nanez, about an hour after the Tukwila store incident, reportedly broke a secured glass case and loaded tote with speakers and headphone. Puts tote in cart and left store without paying.

• Target, Renton

When: 9:53 p.m. May 1, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $7,357

Nanez reportedly took Legos and electronics and placesd them in shopping cart prior to exiting store without paying.

• Target, Renton

When: 9:45 p.m. May 15, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $3,032

Nanez allegedly broke glass cabinet and took electronics by putting them in a tote and placing items in a shopping cart before exiting without paying.

• Target, Kent

When: 6:04 p.m. May 17, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $1,319

Nanez reportedly took three flat screen televisions and exited store without paying for the items.

• Target, Kent

When: 9:42 p.m. May 17, 2022

Value of stolen merchandise: $2,999

Nanez allegedly returns later in evening to the same store, broke a secured electronics case, put items in a tote and placed it in a cart before leaving the store without paying for the items.