Palo Alto Police Arrest Four in Retail Theft

Palo Alto Police have arrested four suspects for organized retail theft last Sunday evening after they were caught shoplifting at lululemon store in the Stanford Shopping Center.  The investigation linked them to prior thefts in other cities earlier in the day.

On Sunday, July 17, 2022, at about 6:02 p.m., the Palo Alto Police 24-hour dispatch center received a call from staff at lululemon reporting an in-progress shoplift at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real.  Upon arrival a few minutes later, officers located and detained four suspects matching the provided description outside the store.  Officers recovered 100 pairs of leggings valued at over $12,000 in their possession.

The ensuing investigation revealed that the four suspects had entered the store along with a fifth suspect, the existence of whom officers were not aware until later in the investigation.  That fifth suspect, a man, is at large.  A surveillance image of him appears above.  Officers located the suspects’ vehicle, a blue 2007 Hyundai Entourage, in the parking lot.  There were several garbage bags full of items inside the minivan.

While working with asset protection personnel from lululemon, officers were able to determine that the bags were full of approximately 300 items of clothing valued at $38,000 that had been stolen by the same suspects earlier in the day at other lululemon stores in Burlingame and San Mateo.

Police booked the three adult suspects (18-year-old Ionut Grafi Dumitru and 22-year-old Elvira Fistogeanu of Sacramento, and 20-year-old Florentina Izabela Matei of Carmichael) into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony organized retail theft, felony possession of stolen property, and felony conspiracy.  The booking photos of those three suspects appear above.  Police transported the fourth suspect, a 16-year-old juvenile female from Sacramento, to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall for the same three charges.  In accordance with our standard release of information procedures, no additional information on that suspect is available since she is under the age of 18.  We do not release booking photographs of juveniles in such situations.

Police do not have any information linking these suspects to any additional crimes in Palo Alto at this time.