AG Ferguson’s Organized Retail Crime Unit files second criminal prosecution

Feb 15, 2024
Written by WR Communications


In a significant move against organized retail crime, Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Organized Retail Crime Unit has filed its second felony criminal case. Shellonda K. Daniel, a Maple Valley woman, faces charges for a series of thefts across six counties in western Washington, involving over $200,000 worth of fragrances and cosmetics stolen from 28 Ulta stores. The charges, filed in King County Superior Court, include two counts of first-degree organized retail theft, a felony offense.

This case highlights the Attorney General’s commitment to addressing the growing issue of organized retail crime, which poses a threat not only to businesses but also to the safety of workers and customers. The state’s Organized Retail Theft statute has enabled the consolidation of charges across multiple jurisdictions into a single county, reflecting the coordinated effort to tackle such widespread criminal activities.

Daniel’s alleged actions included not only the theft of high-value items but also intimidation and threats towards store employees and customers, escalating the severity of her crimes. The Attorney General’s Office is pursuing a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $20,000 penalty for each count against Daniel, along with full restitution for the stolen goods.

The Organized Retail Crime Unit, established in partnership with the Legislature in April 2023, represents a centralized effort to combat retail thefts that are organized and systematic, rather than isolated incidents of shoplifting. This unit, part of a broader task force that includes representatives from various levels of law enforcement and the retail industry, underscores the collaborative approach required to address such complex challenges.

As the unit continues to build its team and capabilities, this case serves as evidence of its potential impact in safeguarding communities and businesses from the ramifications of organized retail crime. With nine other states having dedicated task forces for this issue, Washington’s proactive stance sets a precedent for comprehensive and coordinated action against these criminal networks.


Return to newsletter