Six Bishop Kmart employees arrested for months of walking out with merchandise
Several current and former employees at the Kmart in Bishop allegedly teamed up to steal clothes and electronic goods from the store. The six suspects are believed to have stolen more than $50,000 in merchandise, according to a press release from the Bishop Police Department (BPD).
On Friday, August 11, BPD officers recovered stolen merchandise from the residence of former Kmart employee Lorena Castro, 20, of Bishop. Castro was subsequently taken into custody. Former employee Jasmine Cornoa Vargas, 20, was arrested later that day. Both were charged with possession of stolen property.
On Monday, August 14, BPD officers took four current Kmart employees into custody; Rachel Dominguez, 33, Jamie Lynn Hutchinson, 31, Isabel Darlene Morello, 35, and Nicole Adrien Rogers, 36; all of Bishop. The women were booked into Inyo County Jail for embezzlement of more than $950, and conspiracy to commit a felony. The four women were still in custody at Inyo County Jail as of Wednesday, August 16.
Kmart did not return calls from The Sheet, but other former employees, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that the four older women had worked at the store for several years. The younger suspects were only employed at Kmart for a short time.
Jessica Scida, Public Information Office for the BPD said it has not yet been confirmed if there was any money taken in addition to the smuggled merchandise, or what the suspects planned on doing with the merchandise once they got it out of the store. It is also unclear at this time whether they planned to sell it or keep it. She added the embezzlement went on for months.
The suspects allegedly conspired to steal goods and all worked the closing shift, according to Scida. She said it has yet to be officially verified, but that the goods were taken out of the store in shopping carts or employees’ pockets.
The day before the initial arrests, Asset Protections Managers for Kmart’s parent company, Sears Holdings, contacted the BPD. Sears had been conducting its own internal investigation and concluded that the six suspects were conspiring, Scida said.