E-Bay Store Stocked With Shoplifted Items by; Rick McCann www.privateofficer.com

New London ,CT. Oct 20, 2007

Crystal Mackin and Pamela Murphy were entrepreneurs, according to a state prosecutor.
They went on “inventory runs” to Olde Mistick Village, shoplifting merchandise that they turned around and sold on eBay, the online auction site, said Lawrence J. Tytla, supervisory assistant state's attorney. At one point, there were 1,609 items advertised on their eBay site, he said.
Their “enterprise” was criminal, and on Wednesday the two women were sentenced in New London Superior Court for first-degree larceny and ordered to repay the small businesses whose merchandise they stole. Tytla said one of the more unfortunate aspects of the case was that Mackin brought her infant along on the “inventory runs,” using the baby carriage to conceal stolen items.
Judge Susan B. Handy sentenced Murphy, a 41-year-old from Lisbon who has four prior larceny convictions and a burglary conviction, to five years in prison, suspended after 11 months, and three years probation. The judge sentenced Mackin, a 24-year-old mother of three from Griswold with no prior history of larceny, to three years in prison, fully suspended, and three years probation.
“I'm going to give you a break, but I am the last face you want to see if you violate your probation,” Handy told Mackin.
None of the shop owners attended the sentencing hearings, but they had provided the state with lists of the merchandise stolen from their business. Many of the items were recovered after police executed search-and-seizure warrants at the women's homes. Police recovered items with a retail value of $21,000 at Murphy's home at 207 S. Burnham Highway in Lisbon, and another $18,000 worth at Mackin's home at 1531 Glasgo Road in Griswold. The judge ordered each of the women to repay $6,679, and both had already deposited the bulk of the funds in their attorneys' client funds.
Police recovered a variety of goods, from Vera Wang handbags to skin-care products and stuffed animals. They said the women were running a sophisticated operation in which items were cataloged in cabinets and packed for shipment to buyers.
The women both apologized for their crimes Wednesday after their lawyers argued for less prison time. Attorney Randall Ortega said Murphy had substance abuse and mental-health issues going back to her childhood, and that her mother taught her to shoplift when she was 13 or 15 years old.
“Pam's here because she stole, and she stole because she's sick,” Ortega said.
Handy told Murphy she is lucky she is not being convicted as a persistent larceny offender, which would carry a heavier sentence.
Attorney Christopher Anderson argued that Mackin was a destitute young mother of three when she committed the crimes. He said she was living in a trailer that she co-owned with Murphy's brother, who is the father of one of her children but was not supporting her. Mackin has since become a certified nursing assistant and is employed full time, he said. Mackin wore her nursing uniform to the sentencing.
“I can assure you I will never do anything like this again,” Mackin told the judge. “I just want to go home to my babies and watch them grow.”

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