Couple steals over $36K worth of merchandise from Toys "R" Us

By Morgan Manella, Intern, mmanella@local10.com
Published On: Jul 09 2013 12:16:51 PM EDT
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -

On Tuesday, a couple was arrested for a series of elaborate thefts from Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us stores across four counties, resulting in losses of over $30,000.

Edgar Portela, 30, and Yanderi Soto, 30, would purchase big-ticket items.  They would later return to the store, select the same items from the shelves and return the new items with the receipt from the previous purchase.

Portela and Soto committed the crimes with their 10-month-old infant and Soto's 12-year-old son from a previous relationship.

On some occasions, they used the older child to hand off the receipt from one adult to the other.

The couple would list the stolen items for sale online.

The couple was spotted entering a Babies "R" Us in Pembroke Pines on Tuesday by store security, and they were arrested.

Portela and Soto committed thefts in over 50 instances and were able to make out with $36,000 worth of merchandise in Broward and Miami-Dade. 

They are facing charges for organized scheme to defraud and criminal conspiracy.

The children were taken into protective custody by BSO Child Protective Investigations Section.

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