Three people involved in a statewide crime ring involving credit card thefts from prominent businesses in Warren County have been sentenced to prison, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.
A Warren County judge Monday sentenced Larry D. Cobb, 55, to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Kristina M. Petty, 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity and was sentenced to four years in prison.
In December, Deshawn Mitchell, 35, was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity. Last month, Jodie Petty, 31, who is in prison on related charges in other counties, was sentenced to community control.
The four individuals were part of a crime ring officials dubbed the “Office Creeper Case” that involved sneaking into dozens of companies and stealing employees’ credit cards and items left unattended on desks or in offices.
The crime ring spanned eight counties statewide and charged more than $100,000 in merchandise, officials said. In Warren County, Procter & Gamble’s Mason Business Center and Cintas were targets.
Cobb, who acted as the primary thief, formed the criminal enterprise in 2012, authorities said. He and his co-conspirators used stolen credit cards to quickly buy electronics, gift cards, and other items they could sell for cash, special prosecutors with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office said.
“Larry Cobb and his co-defendants are professional thieves, plain and simple,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said in a statement.
“This case serves as a reminder to local businesses to re-visit their security policies and procedures to ensure that their employees aren’t victimized by unauthorized persons on their premises,” he said.
About 35 law enforcement agencies from across the state investigated the case with help from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.