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Authorities seize $250,000 worth of stolen plastics at company

January 11, 2012 |  9:39 am

Plastic crates confiscated in 2011
Four people have been arrested in South Los Angeles, accused of possessing $250,000 worth of stolen trademarked plastics products, authorities said.

Detectives from the multi-agency Plastic Industrial Theft Task Force were conducting a compliance check at R and P Industries on Tuesday and found mounds of stolen items, L.A. County sheriff's officials said in a statement.

"There, they discovered ceiling-high stacks of stolen, trademarked plastics, such as pallets, crates, collapsible totes and bread baskets; these items were all found in an intact state," the statement said.

In addition, 60 2,000-pound bags containing plastic grind were found. A large industrial plastic-grinding machine, a band saw and other tools used to grind plastic were also discovered.

Detectives arrested the business owner, Regelio Casimiro, 50, and three of his employees -- Heredia Espinoza, 26, Dorian Carrillo, 23, and Salvador Cortez, 36, all residents of Los Angeles.

They face charges of possession of stolen property and illegal possession of trademarked property. They were booked at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department station at Industry each is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Plastic grinding is a bizarre part of the L.A. economy. Scavengers steal plastics from manufacturers, such as Ralphs, Wal-Mart and other stores. They then sell it to recycling companies, which grind the plastic into chips the size of fingernails.

The grinders, in turn, sell the chips back to manufacturers or they are shipped to China.


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Photo: Palettes and other plastic products seized by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department in May. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times