Long Term Investigation Leads to First of Possibly Many Raids on Black Market Storefronts in Boston

At about 12:30 PM on Thursday October 21, 2021, detectives assigned to District C-11 (Dorchester) and District D-14 (Brighton) arrested Juan Marte-Nunez, 35, of Roxbury following the simultaneous execution of an arrest warrant and a search warrant in the area of 485 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester.

Following a lengthy, multi-month joint investigation, detectives from across the city executed a raid of Marte Technology on Geneva Ave where Detectives recovered numerous items that had been stolen from local businesses, numerous home invasions, and other illicit activity. Sources familiar with some of the thefts tell us that this crime ring was fueled by not just the daily thefts from local businesses, one main source being Target, but also home invasions and hold-up type robberies.

Over the span of the investigations, Detectives were able to track the stolen items using multiple tactics, with all leading back to the same store front. Detectives on scene could be seen carrying out over 20 evidence bags full of electronics. In documents obtained by Live Boston we learned those bags were filled with Google Nest, Google Chromecasts, wireless and bluetooth speakers, bluetooth earbuds, phone cases, screen protectors, cellphones, cameras, stereo systems, wifi devices and routers, webcams, blood pressure monitors, and even home security systems.

Although Marte Technology was the only target in this take down, sources close to the investigation told us it would not be surprising if this was just the first of many of its type. With a total value of over $500,000 in products tracked passing through the small storefront, the size of this individual blackmarket ring was more significant than expected. This is no surprise to anyone familiar with Loss Prevention practices especially Target, who are well known for their top of the line non-nonsense approach to theft in their stores.

Unlike other retailers, the methodical way in which Target goes about building cases against repeat shoplifters and the resources available to them are truly impressive. Target takes loss prevention very seriously. In fact, Target runs one of country’s top-rated forensic laboratories, which specializes in solving “organized retail crimes committed at Target stores through video and image analysis, latent fingerprint and computer forensics.

As it turns out, alongside their forensic team and top-of-the-line, in-store facial recognition technology, Target is known for actually letting shoplifters get away with their bounty…up until they reach the monetary threshold for a felony shoplifting charge. This means that while a Walmart LP will stop a shoplifter regardless of whether they’re stealing a $5 DVD or a $500 dollar TV, Target might allow a shoplifter to steal 100 $5 DVDs over time, all while building up a massive, fool-proof felony case against them. And here’s the craziest part––they organize these efforts across stores and even state-lines. Essentially, if you steal at any Target, anywhere in the country, they’re quite possibly building up a case against you.

The suspect will appear in Dorchester District Court on charges of Conspiracy (5 Counts), Receiving Stolen Property (7 Counts) and Aggravated Shoplifting (3 Counts). These charges may be amended or upgraded upon further investigation. As for Marte Technology, a stop work order is now affixed to the front of the store which has been gated shut until further notice.