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Police bust suspected shoe-swiping ring
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Forsyth County News

Authorities have arrested four people in connection with the theft of about $2,600 worth of shoes from a Cumming business.

Cumming Police Chief Mike Eason described the group -- three men and one woman -- as an organized shoplifting ring that targeted the Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse on Marketplace Boulevard earlier in the fall.

Police have charged Manuel Hernandez-Rodriguez, 22, and Blanka Serrano-Castillo, 32, both of Norcross, with felony theft by shoplifting.

In addition, Hernandez-Rodriguez was charged with possession of tools for the commission of a crime.

Cesar Rodriguez Lozano, 34, of Cumming was charged with felony theft by shoplifting, police said.

The suspects, who were arrested Oct. 20, are being held at the Forsyth County Detention Center. It could not be determined if their bonds have been set.

Jose Antonio Contreras, 24, of Norcross faces a misdemeanor shoplifting charge and was released Oct. 21 from the Cumming Jail on a $675 bond, police said.

Eason said Oct. 20 was not the first time the group had gone to Off Broadway.

"They'd been there two or three times hitting the same place," Eason said.

He said various businesses on Marketplace Boulevard have identified stolen property authorities found in the suspects' possession.

According to Cumming police reports, nearly 40 pairs of shoes were taken Sept. 30 from Off Broadway.

The suspects were arrested three weeks later after they returned to the store and an employee who recognized them called police.

The employee reported that video footage taken in the store Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 showed suspects taking shoes out of their boxes, removing security devices from the shoes and walking out after hiding the shoes under large sweatshirts.