Investigators arrested two men and recovered about $20,000 worth of stolen merchandise Friday in connection with an organized retail theft ring.
Detectives from the Beaverton Police Department and the Portland Police Bureau executed search warrants earlier in the day at two Multnomah County homes as part of an ongoing investigation that began in May.
The investigation started with the reported theft of a $2,750 custom guitar from the Beaverton Guitar Center. An employee discovered the guitar missing and located it for sale on eBay. The employee turned the information over to Beaverton police detectives, who learned the suspects had taken in more than $1 million in sales on eBay since their accounts were created in 2008.
"It is believed that all of this profit was made from the sale of stolen property," said Officer Mike Rowe, Beaverton police spokesman.
During the investigation, detectives determined there were four people who were actively involved in the theft and sale of high-end guitars, cameras, computers and recreation accessories, he added.
"These items would be stolen from a variety of retail stores, then listed on eBay and sold to unsuspecting people," Rowe said. "The items were listed under retail price, but not so low that you might suspect it was stolen."
Beaverton detectives teamed up with Portland police on Friday to execute search warrants at 9127 S.E. Knapp St. in Portland and 16863 N.E. Glisan St. in Gresham.
They arrested two men in connection with the case, 30-year-old Ramuiel "Ryan" A. Talpas of Gresham and 32-year-old Daniel Dan of Portland.
Others who assisted in this ongoing investigation included representatives of the Tigard Police Department, Snohomish Sheriff's Office, United States Postal Service, Guitar Center, Safeway and Target.